Padres unable to complete series sweep, fall 4-1 to Boston

Jun 30, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Matt Waldron (61) throws a pitch against the Boston Red Sox in the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

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Jun 30, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Ha-Seong Kim (7) hits a double to left field to drive in a run against the Boston Red Sox in the seventh inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The red-hot San Diego Padres, entering Sunday’s action against the Boston Red Sox 9-1 in their past 10 games, looked to sweep a second straight series.

Unfortunately, San Diego’s booming offense fell cold amidst the rain in a 4-1 loss to close the series.

Padres manager Mike Shildt gave knuckleballer Matt Waldron the nod, the hurler who started in the first game of San Diego’s current five-game win streak. However, despite an elite 1.95 ERA over 32.1 frames in June, the Red Sox tagged Waldron for four runs, three of which were earned, over his 4.1 innings.

Boston got on the board in the first when Rafael Devers slapped an opposite-field two-run home run. Then, in the third, the Red Sox added another run on a passed ball by Kyle Higashioka at the plate before Jarren Duran roped a 359-foot Pesky Pole home run to give Boston a 4-0 lead in the home half of the fifth.

Red Sox skipper Alex Cora handed the ball to Josh Winckowski, who pitched in and out of trouble in the early innings of the contest. The Padres grounded into two double plays, and at the end of Winckowski’s line, the right-hander tossed five scoreless frames on four hits.

San Diego scratched across a run in the top of the seventh inning. Off relief pitcher Justin Slaten, the white-hot Jackson Merrill smoked a 376-foot double before Ha-Seong Kim traded places with him on an RBI double down the left-field line to make it a 4-1 game. Frustratingly, the Padres could not add more as both Higashioka and David Peralta, pinch-hitting for Bryce Johnson, grounded out to close the inning.

Southpaw Adrián Morejón pitched the seventh and escaped a major jam. With two Red Sox on base and just one out, Morejón struck out Romy Gonzalez before enforcing an inning-ending flyout from the dangerous Devers. Jeremiah Estrada tossed a scoreless eighth to maintain the three-run deficit entering the final frame.

A familiar face in Kenley Jansen went out to shut the door against the Padres in the ninth inning. San Diego went down in order on 10 pitches.

Despite the loss, the Padres have momentum from a successful series win against a good Red Sox team going into an off day tomorrow (7/1) before facing the struggling defending World Champion Texas Rangers.

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