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Jackson Merrill’s 3-run homer leads Padres over Red Sox, 9-2




Red Sox

All nine of San Diego’s runs came in the fifth inning on Friday.

Nick Pivetta couldn’t handle the flurry of Padres offense against him in the fifth inning Friday. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

BOSTON (AP) — Jackson Merrill hit a three-run homer and Kyle Higashioka added a two-run shot in a nine-run fifth inning, leading the San Diego Padres to a 9-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.

“That was the most dope moment ever,” said Merrill, who grew up a Red Sox fan and was playing his first game at Fenway Park. “I don’t usually like to talk about what I do. I like to talk about the wins, but that was probably the dopest moment. I’ve watched so many games here, growing up a big Red Sox fan, to come in and hit a homer, that’s an unreal feeling.”

The Padres sent 13 batters to the plate in the fifth, with nine scoring on eight hits and two walks. The first nine batters reached base safely. Every batter in the Padres starting lineup had at least one hit and scored a run.

The nine runs scored matches the most in an inning for the Padres this season. They also scored nine runs in the eighth inning on May 31 against the Kansas City Royals. The nine runs allowed surpassed Boston’s previous season high of seven runs scored by the Toronto Blue Jays in the third inning on Tuesday.

“A lot going on,” Padres manager Mike Schildt said of the fifth inning. “We talk about, you can never have enough runs. So, we stay hungry to get more. We want to continue to add on as much as possible all the time.”

After Nick Pivetta (4-5) gave up four hits — including Higashioka’s ninth homer of the season — and a walk to open the fifth, he was replaced by Greg Weissert, who gave up four straight hits including two-run singles to Jake Cronenworth and Donovan Solano and Merrill’s 11th homer of the season.

“The sweeper didn’t perform in that inning,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Pivetta’s pitch. “Just wasn’t able to execute and everything happened so fast. I’m usually not that aggressive bringing in the bullpen, but I wanted to give them a different look with the lefty there. It was still early in the game.”

Pivetta called his outing “dissatisfying.”

“I was hanging pitches in the middle of the zone and they took advantage of it because they’re a good baseball team,” he said.

Right-hander Randy Vásquez started for the Padres and went four-plus innings, giving up one run on five hits and a walk with one strikeout. He was replaced by Wandy Peralta after Ceddanne Rafaela’s comebacker hit him on his pitching arm and he suffered a forearm contusion.

“Thankfully, X-rays negative, no fracture or anything. Got him in the forearm pretty good,” Schildt said. “That was a shame because this guy was pitching really well.”

Right-hander Stephen Kolek (2-0) threw two scoreless innings, giving up a hit with two strikeouts.

Connor Wong’s two-out single scored Wilyer Abreu from second base in the fourth to give Boston a 1-0 lead. Rafael Devers hit his 17th home run of the season in the sixth.

Xander Bogaerts, who won two World Series titles in his 10 seasons in Boston, received a standing ovation from the Fenway crowd after the Red Sox showed a video tribute before the second inning. It was his first time back since signing with the Padres as a free agent in December 2022.

ROSTER MOVES

The Red Sox reinstated C Connor Wong from the paternity list and called up LHP Bailey Horn from Triple-A Worcester. C Tyler Heineman and RHP Isaiah Campbell were optioned to Worcester on Thursday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Padres: LHP Tom Cosgrove was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to June 27, with left elbow inflammation. LHP Austin Davis was called up from Triple-A El Paso to take his spot on the roster. … RHP Joe Musgrove, out since May 29 with right elbow inflammation, was transferred from the 15-day IL to the 60-day IL.

UP NEXT

The Red Sox and Padres continue their three-game series on Saturday. RHP Tanner Houck (7-5, 2.18 ERA) is scheduled to start for Boston, opposed by RHP Michael King (5-5, 3.75).





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