Sports

Red Sox Lose To Padres On Rain-Soaked Afternoon

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Dustin Pedroia (Charles Krupa/AP Photo)

Dustin Pedroia (Charles Krupa/AP Photo)

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BOSTON (AP) _ Will Venable hit a leadoff home run and Clayton
Richard some support for a change, lifting the San Diego Padres
over the Boston Red Sox 5-1 Wednesday in a game delayed by rain
four times before it was called after 71/2 innings.

It was the second straight win for San Diego after a
season-worst six-game losing streak. The Padres finished their road
trip at 3-6.

Adrian Gonzalez hit four singles against his former team to
raise his major league-leading average to .359 and drove in
Boston’s run. The Red Sox lost for just the fourth time in 18 games
and absorbed consecutive losses for the first time this month.

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz grounded out his first
three at-bats, stranding seven baserunners.

The game’s start was delayed 35 minutes. Play was halted with
two outs in the top of the third for 38 minutes and again in the
middle of the fifth, with that delay lasting 31 minutes. The final
one in the middle of the eighth– was 40 minutes.

In the third delay, crew chief Ed Rapuano called for the tarp,
but never left the field when he asked for the grounds’ crew to
take it off a few minutes later while the rain appeared to be
falling at a similar rate.

The Padres, who entered the day with the majors’ worst batting
average at .233, scored their runs on just seven hits, but
benefited from wildness by John Lackey (5-6).

Lackey left in the fourth inning and exited to a spattering of
boos, continuing his rough season.

Richard (3-10) lasted through both of the delays during the
game, giving up one run and eight hits over five innings to snap
five-game losing streak. The left-hander had lost five of his last
six starts with a no-decision in the other despite holding
opponents to three or fewer runs five times.

Boston had 10 hits –all singles — and grounded into a pair of
double plays.

Venable hit the game’s seventh pitch into the right-field seats
for his first homer of the season and the first leadoff shot of his
career.

The Padres took advantage of Lackey’s wildness, chasing him with
four runs in the fourth. Orlando Hudson drew a leadoff walk and
Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch before Cameron Maybin laid down a
well-placed bunt for a single.

Lackey threw a wild pitch to allow a run and walked Venable,
forcing home another. He also hit Jason Bartlett in the back with a
2-2 pitch with the bases loaded and Chase Headley had an RBI
single, making it 5-0.

Lackey allowed five runs on four hits and four walks in 3 1-3
innings, raising his ERA to 7.36. He had seemed to turn his season
around, winning his previous three starts before Wednesday when he
was booed briefly as he walked off after being pulled.

Gonzalez’s RBI single cut it to 5-1 in the fifth.

Ortiz came up with the bases loaded in the first, but bounced
into an inning-ending double play. In the third, he came up with
two on and two out, but grounded out. He ended the fifth with a
grounder with runners on first and second.

NOTES: San Diego improved to 18-18 on the road. … Gonzalez
went 8 for 14 with four RBIs in series. … Red Sox manager Terry
Francona said he’s still not sure RHP Josh Beckett, who missed
Tuesday start with a stomach ailment, will be able to start
Saturday in Pittsburgh. “He’s really sick,” Francona said.
“We’re going to have to play this by ear. He’s got a good,
old-fashioned case of the flu.” LHP Andrew Miller is a likely to
start if Beckett can’t. Francona appears to be leaning toward
playing 1B Gonzalez in right field during Boston’s upcoming
nine-game road trip of all inter-league, thus allowing Ortiz to
play first. “I don’t want David to go 11 days without playing,”
he said. … Padres manager Bud Black announced Tim Stauffer,
Dustin Moseley and Cory Luebke will start the three home games
against Atlanta this weekend, Luebke making his first start of the
year. … Hudson stole his career-best 11th base. … Both teams
have off-days Thursday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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