SAN DIEGO — The Boston Red Sox finally displayed some offense Tuesday night.
Jackie Bradley Jr. and Chris Young homered and Clay Buchholz pitched 6-plus solid innings as the Red Sox beat the San Diego Padres 5-1 on Tuesday night.
“A great swing by Jackie for the two-run homer and then C.Y., what he’s doing these past two ballgames has given us a boost,” Boston manager John Farrell said.
The Red Sox moved into a tie for first place in the AL East with Toronto. The Blue Jays lost 7-6 to the Yankees on Tuesday.
The Red Sox lead the majors in runs but had scored just once in their past two games, both losses. Previous to that in three straight wins, they had collected 35 runs.
Buchholz (6-10) was making his first start since Aug. 23 as his last three appearances came out of the bullpen. Working exclusively from the stretch, Buchholz allowed a run, eight hits and struck out six in facing the Padres for the first time.
“You can’t give Clay enough credit for the role that he’s been put into, some of it by his own doing early on,” Farrell said. “But again it’s how you finish and he is finishing in a good fashion.”
Added Buchholz: “Good times, bad times, I still feel like I can pitch and I can help this team out. Regardless of the role, it’s part of the game. Whenever my name is called I try to go out and give our team the best chance that I can to win, and I’m feeling good right now.”
Neither team scored in the first three innings or in the last four. But the Red Sox notched five runs in the middle innings for their 16th win in their last 25 games.
The Padres threatened in the seventh, when Oswaldo Arcia and Luis Sardinas singled. But Buchholz struck out pinch-hitter Jon Jay and Travis Jankowski before being relieved by Matt Barnes to face Wil Myers. Barnes got Myers to expand outside the zone for another strikeout to quell the rally.
Joe Kelly, the third Red Sox reliever, pitched the ninth.
Boston chased starter Paul Clemens in the fifth when he wasn’t able to record an out. Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez hit consecutive singles, with Ramirez’s scoring Bogaerts. Young’s RBI grounder made it 5-1.
Clemens (2-5) was charged with five runs and nine hits over four innings. He struck out three and walked three in dropping his third straight start.
“I’ve just got to be more aggressive,” he said. “I feel like I’m right there, about to turn the corner and get into the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. But then I have a hiccup.”
Rookie Ryan Schimpf snapped an 0-for-15 skid when he hit a fourth-inning homer, his 17th, to pull the Padres within 3-1.
“He really puts backspin on the baseball,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “It’s impressive what he has done.”
The Red Sox got to Clemens in the fourth inning, just after pitching coach Darren Balsley paid his starter a visit. On the following pitch Bradley smashed a two-run homer, which scored Sandy Leon who opened the inning with a bunt single. Young extend Boston’s lead to 3-0 when he went back-to-back with Bradley, hitting his eighth homer and second in two games.
Once again Clemens’ velocity dropped off significantly in the middle innings.
“If he’s going to be a starter he has to answer that question,” Green said. “The stuff is there because you see it in the first three innings.”
Red Sox: RHP Steve Wright got a second opinion on his sore right shoulder on Tuesday, which confirmed there was no structural damage and that he is suffering from bursitis. Farrell said there’s no timetable for Wright’s return.
Padres: Activated Jay (fractured right forearm) from the 60-day DL.
Red Sox: LHP David Price (14-8, 3.92) caps the three-game series in San Diego. Price has a five-start winning streak and has allowed but eight runs in 35 innings over that span.
Padres: RHP Jarred Cosart (0-2, 5.14) has allowed one earned run or less in four of his six Padres starts since coming over in a seven-player trade with Miami in July.