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SD@BOS: Volquez tosses six frames of one-run ball

BOSTON -- Before he could take time to break down the Padres' latest loss, a recurring theme of late for this team, third baseman Chase Headley excused himself briefly to remove a large ice pack from his left foot.

This, if nothing else, provided an apt metaphor for the funk the Padres are currently stuck in, the latest loss coming Wednesday night when Jonny Gomes hit a walk-off home run to lead the Red Sox to a 2-1 victory in front of a sold-out crowd of 36,911 at Fenway Park.

"We're banged up," Headley said. "We've got guys on the DL, guys banged up a little who are playing. It's hard to say if the team is fatigued, because you play so many games. But when you're not playing with all your guys …"

The Padres (40-45) have lost five consecutive games for the first time since the second week of the season. They've lost 11 of their last 15 games and are 1-5 on a road trip with four games to go.

"It's one of those stretches you go through," Headley said. "… But I don't feel like we're giving away at-bats."

They're just not having enough productive ones.

The Padres wasted a strong performance by pitcher Edinson Volquez as they managed six hits -- but only three over the final eight innings of the game. In these five losses, the team has scored five runs.

On his 30th birthday, Volquez turned in one of his best performances of the season -- and it came against a daunting lineup.

There were a few shaky moments on the way, like when David Ortiz lined into an inning-ending double play to shortstop Pedro Ciriaco -- who had Ortiz played perfectly, standing directly behind the second-base bag in the first inning.

Volquez allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base in the second, third and fourth innings. But each time trouble lurked, the right-hander went back to his secondary pitches: a crisp curveball and the pitch that's long been a weapon for him, the changeup.

"My whole secondary pitches were working and I felt I could throw the ball where I wanted it," Volquez said.

The only run he allowed came in the fourth inning when Mike Carp singled and scored as Jarrod Saltalamacchia banged an opposite-field double off the Green Monster. When the ball came down, it bounced over the head of left fielder Carlos Quentin, allowing Carp to score.

Volquez walked one (intentionally), struck out six and allowed seven hits in six innings.

"It was a gutty performance," said Padres manager Bud Black of Volquez's outing. "I liked the no walks. The curveball tonight was the key for Eddie. He had a good change at times. He threw the ball great."

Volquez's counterpart, Red Sox starter Jon Lester, had a different experience Wednesday, but with similar results.

Lester got two quick outs in the first inning and then allowed a single to Quentin, the first of three hits for the left fielder. Headley reached on a single, moving Quentin to third base. Kyle Blanks then followed with a sharp single up the middle for a 1-0 lead.

Blanks played on a sore left heel and will likely get Thursday's game off. The Padres have four players from their Opening Day lineup on the disabled list -- first baseman Yonder Alonso, second baseman Jedd Gyorko, shortstop Everth Cabrera and center fielder Cameron Maybin.

Lester needed 32 pitches to get out of the first inning. He was much more efficient following that, settling into a stretch when were retired 15 of the next 17 hitters he faced.

Lester allowed one run on six hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out five. Like Volquez, he was left with a no-decision.

The game then became property of both bullpens. Nick Vincent tossed a scoreless seventh inning and Luke Gregerson danced around trouble in the eighth inning after Vincent allowed a leadoff double to Dustin Pedroia and intentionally walked Ortiz before exiting the game.

Gregerson struck out two of the next three batters he faced to wiggle out of the jam.

In the ninth, Gregerson faced Gomes to open the inning and fell behind 1-0. He then got Gomes to swing wildly through two sliders away.

Gregerson missed away on the next pitch and then left a slider out too far over the plate, one that Gomes hit into the first row of seats atop the Green Monster. Gregerson left without talking to reporters.

"He threw me two good [sliders] that I swung over. I mean, he throws a good slider," Gomes said. "No one's hitting it the whole game. I let that [1-2 pitch] go by and it kind of locked me into my sights."

Headley was dealing with a sore foot after he was hit by a pitch -- that didn't count -- as Lester fired the ball home after home-plate umpire Doug Eddings called for time after Headley requested it in the first inning. Headley limped around on the foot briefly before resuming his at-bat.

In the third inning, Volquez hit No. 9 hitter Jose Iglesias on the left arm with a pitch, which prompted Eddings to issue a warning. Volquez was told by Eddings that the warning was in response to Lester hitting Headley.

"I wasn't trying to hit him," Volquez said. "We were winning by one run and you don't want to hit the No. 9 hitter." Comments