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Devers hits two-run HR to lead Red Sox past Padres

Rafael Devers and Enmanuel Valdez Rafael Devers and Enmanuel Valdez (47) - The Canadian Press

BOSTON (AP) — Rafael Devers hit a two-run homer, Jarren Duran added a solo shot and the Boston Red Sox ended the San Diego Padres' five-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory on Sunday.

The Red Sox, who were outscored 20-3 in the series' first two games, snapped a three-game skid.

Jackson Merrill had three hits for the Padres, and Ha-Seong Kim added an RBI double. San Diego had won nine of its previous 10 games.

Making his first start since being recalled from Triple-A on Tuesday, Boston right-hander Josh Winckowski (2-1) gave up four hits over five scoreless innings.

“I kind of figured out something a little bit down in Triple-A,” he said. “I was throwing changeups that were literally just like a ball down and almost never, ever getting swings on it, so we just started throwing it in the zone all times and it turned into a high-percentage strike pitch for me and I got a lot of ground balls.”

Kenley Jansen, the fourth reliever, got the final three outs for his 16th save this season and 436th of his career.

Padres starter Matt Waldron (5-7) gave up four runs, three earned, in 4 1/3 innings, halting his NL-high stretch this season of nine consecutive starts allowing two or fewer runs.

Waldron, the only pitcher to throw a knuckleball in the majors this year, mixed it with his fastball and sweeper at Fenway Park, where former Red Sox right-hander Tim Wakefield famously threw the pitch during his 17-year career with Boston.

Wakefield died last October at age 57 after a battle with brain cancer. Waldron, who was inspired as a child by Wakefield to learn the knuckleball, threw it for his first pitch on Sunday.

“I know that Wakefield has toed that rubber,” Waldron said, becoming emotional. “You could feel it. It was tough. At the end of the day, I've got to get a job done and that just didn't happen.”

Devers drove a fastball into the second row of Monster seats for his 18th homer, making it 2-0 in the first.

“A few knuckleballs and a few fastballs they were able to put some barrels on,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said. “But overall, I thought he was good. He usually gets better as the game goes on. ... They had a good plan and didn't miss it.”

In the third, Wilyer Abreu singled with two outs, advanced to third on a single and scored when catcher Kyle Higashioka couldn’t handle Waldron’s knuckleball for a passed ball, his first of two.

Duran’s ninth homer of the season came off a knuckleball and hooked around the Pesky Pole in right field to make it 4-0 in the fifth.

“I'm so glad he threw it the first pitch of the game so I could see what it looks like,” Duran said. “That thing is nasty. Kind of the game plan for me was just to, honestly, see it above my eyeballs, because if it's up there I'm hoping its not going to move as much as if it was down.”

The last few innings were played under dark skies with thunder rumbling at times in the distance, with flashes of lightning bringing reaction from the crowd.

Seconds after lightning flashed, San Diego’s Manny Machado grounded out to end a scoreless fifth, something the Red Sox were glad to see after giving up nine runs in that inning on Friday and six on Saturday.

It was the first time since 2013 that the clubs met at Fenway.


Padres: Open a three-game series at Texas on Tuesday. San Diego hadn't announced a starter. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (4-3, 3.45 ERA) is set to pitch for the Rangers.

Red Sox: RHP Kutter Crawford (3-7, 3.59) is in line to start Tuesday in the first of three games against Miami. RHP Valente Bellozo (0-0, 0.00) is scheduled for the Marlins.