SAN DIEGO -- In the early stages of Tuesday's game at Petco Park, the Red Sox had already seen the good news on the scoreboard. About 3,000 miles to the East in the Bronx, the Yankees pulled out a thrilling victory over the Blue Jays.
With an opportunity in front of them, the Red Sox pounced, notching a well-balanced, 5-1 victory over the Padres that pulled them back into a tie with Toronto for first place in the American League East. Meanwhile, the Orioles lurk just a game behind.
Clay Buchholz, making yet another return to the starting rotation, scattered eight hits and just one run over 6 2/3 innings to earn the win. The righty walked none and struck out six and could remain a starter for the rest of the season with the ailing Steven Wright's status uncertain.
"I still feel like I can pitch and help this team out," said Buchholz. "Regardless of the role, it's a part of the game, and whenever my name is called, I try to go out there and give the team the best chance I can to win. I'm feeling good right now." More >>
Jackie Bradley Jr. and Chris Young gave the offense some life by belting back-to-back homers in the fourth. That rally was started with an element of surprise -- a leadoff bunt single by Sandy Leon.
Ryan Schimpf hit a home run for the Padres, his 17th, but pitcher Paul Clemens couldn't make it out of the fifth inning. Clemens, who allowed five runs on nine hits, has recorded just one out after the fifth inning all season -- prompting manager Andy Green to wonder what needs to change for Clemens to maintain his velocity and effectiveness deeper into ballgames.
"If he doesn't answer that question, he's a bullpen guy," Green said. "So he's got the rest of this month to answer that in the rotation and show that he can pitch in the fourth, fifth and sixth inning of a ballgame. Right now, it's been a tough task for him."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED JBJ, CY go back to back: Just when it looked like the Red Sox might have a third straight futile game with the bats, the script was flipped when Bradley unloaded for a two-run rocket to right with nobody out in the fourth that broke a scoreless tie. Young followed by lining a solo shot to left that hit the top of the wall before rolling into the stands. It was the fifth time the Red Sox have hit back-to-back homers this season. It broke a stretch in which Boston had scored just one run over the previous 21 innings.
"Maybe it's just allowed us to breathe a little bit and relax and take the quality at-bats that we're accustomed to," said manager John Farrell.
Same ol' Schimpf: Schimpf's incredible power display continued Tuesday, when he launched his 17th homer of the season. The slugging second baseman has 47 hits this season -- only 12 of which have gone for singles.
"I just go up there, I'm really trying to drive the ball every time," Schimpf said. "Sometimes it could hurt you, at times, but it's just been part of my game, just to go up there, just try to drive the ball. That's something I've always done." More >>
Tough stretch for Moncada: Top prospect Yoan Moncada has had a tough couple of days in San Diego for the Red Sox. The third baseman struck out three times on Monday, and four more on Tuesday. Moncada had two hits in each of his first two Major League starts before getting into a rut in the last two. Travis Shaw will start Wednesday's series finale at third base.
"I had a couple of bad days but all I can do is keep working on what I've been working on and keep moving forward.," said Moncada through an interpreter. More >>
Welcome back: Padres outfielder Jon Jay made his return from a fractured right forearm with a pinch-hit appearance in the bottom of the seventh inning. It came at a pivotal moment in the game, with men on the corners and none out. But Jay struck out, as did Travis Jankowski and Wil Myers, and the Padres wouldn't threaten after that.
"I took my foot off the gas pedal instead of staying aggressive, and it led to a two-run home run and then a solo home run. Yeah it's tough, but the velocity fell, I think the fastball [Bradley] hit out was 90 [mph], and that's not me. It's tough. You swallow it, and you move forward." -- Clemens
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After a shaky start to his season, Buchholz has a 2.20 ERA in his last 12 outings since July 27. Four of those 12 appearances have been starts.
Isolated power -- or ISO -- is an advanced metric used to measure a hitter's raw power, obtained by subtracting a player's batting average from his slugging percentage. Essentially, only extra bases count. Schimpf's .356 ISO is the best mark since Jose Bautista's 2010 season.
A ninth-inning review took a double play off the board for Boston, when replay confirmed that shortstop Xander Bogaerts never touched the bag. Catcher Hector Sanchez, who had reached on a leadoff single was awarded second, but Joe Kelly promptly retired the next two Padres to seal the victory.
WHAT'S NEXT Red Sox: Lefty David Price will try to continue his recent hot streak when he pitches Wednesday's 9:10 p.m. ET finale against the Padres. Price is 5-0 with a 2.06 ERA in his last five starts. This will be Price's first career start against San Diego.
Padres:Jarred Cosart takes the hill for the finale with an early start time of 6:10 p.m. PT. The right-hander struggled in his last time out, allowing seven earned runs in Atlanta after surrendering just eight in his five August starts. The Padres haven't scored more than three runs against a left-handed starter since July 15, and they get a tough one Wednesday in Price.