SAN DIEGO (AP) — Emmanuel Valdez hit a three-run homer and Chris Sale allowed just three hits — two of them home runs — in seven innings for the Boston Red Sox, who beat San Diego 4-2 Saturday night to send the Padres plummeting to their fourth straight loss and 11th in 13 games.
The 34-year-old Sale (4-2) had his fourth strong start and helped the Red Sox win their fourth straight game. The lefty allowed homers to Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. but otherwise shut down a superstar-studded offense with baseball's third-highest payroll that continues to look lost at the plate.
Sale got all the backing he needed when Valdez drove a pitch from Joe Musgrove (1-2) several rows into the right field seats with one out in the second, his third. Sale allowed Soto's shot to right-center leading off the second, his eighth, and Tatis' 440-foot shot into the second deck in left leading off the sixth, his seventh.
Sale struck out eight and walked one. He has gone six-plus innings in each of his last four starts and has struck out a total of 27 batters in his last three.
Kenley Jansen, who blew each of his previous two save opportunities, walked two in the ninth before closing it out for his 10th save and first since he earned his 400th career save on May 10.
The Red Sox twice successfully challenged out calls on the base paths and both runners eventually scored.
Raimel Tapia was called out at third on the front end of a double steal in the second, but the call was overturned after review. He was aboard for Valdez's homer. In the fourth, Kiké Hernández was originally called out sliding headfirst into second on a fly ball to left-center but the call was overturned after replays showed he got his left hand onto the bag before second baseman Jake Cronenworth tagged him. He advanced on Connor Wong's single and scored on Alex Verdugo's base hit to left to make it 4-1.
Musgrove allowed four runs and six hits in five innings, struck out six and walked one.
The Red Sox go for a sweep behind RHP Corey Kluber (2-5, 6.41 ERA), while the Padres counter with RHP Michael Wacha (4-1, 4.06).