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SD@BOS: Hudson's three-run shot knots the game at 3

BOSTON -- There was nothing that Adrian Gonzalez did on Monday that amazed former teammate Chase Headley in the least -- not with his swing, not with his approach and certainly not with the kind damage that Gonzalez can cause with one flick of the wrists.

"He looked exactly the same," Headley said.

But the more Headley thought about it -- and there were plenty of moments for reflection during the Red Sox's 10-run seventh inning -- the more that he realized that something was slightly different with Gonzalez.

"What I'm seeing with him now more than before is a lot of stress-free at-bats -- at-bats where if you don't knock in a run in a certain situation ... it's not the end of the world," Headley said.

Such was the case Monday, as Gonzalez tortured his former team with three hits and three RBIs as the Red Sox broke up a tied game with 10 runs in the seventh inning en route to a 14-5 victory before a sold-out crowd of 38,020 at Fenway Park.

Gonzalez, traded from San Diego to Boston for four players in December, gave his new team a 4-3 lead with an important RBI double in that fateful seventh inning for the Padres, who have now lost their last six and nine of their last 10 games.

Gonzalez, with the Red Sox well in control of the inning and game, added a two-run single much later in the frame as Boston (44-28) sent 14 batters to the plate, with nine of them reaching base consecutively with two outs in the inning as the Padres tried desperately -- with little luck -- to get that final, elusive out.

San Diego reliever Cory Luebke (1-2), pressed into a season-high 50-pitch stint when starter Wade LeBlanc got only nine outs, allowed the double to Gonzalez in the seventh inning, though he was certainly long gone by the time Ernesto Frieri, Evan Scribner and Pat Neshek took their turns at taming the Red Sox's offense.

"Our bullpen has been the best in baseball ... top to bottom," manager Bud Black said. "Tonight showed that these guys aren't invincible. Bad inning. That's the only way you can write it. You're trying to stop the bleeding."

It didn't look as though the Padres (30-44) would need a tourniquet with the way the game was going through the first five innings, even after the Red Sox slowly built up a 3-0 lead, chasing LeBlanc, who allowed three runs on seven hits in three-plus innings.

In need of long relief, Black turned to Luebke, who has been good in that role all season. Luebke was even better Monday, as he struck out five consecutive hitters at one point in the game. He allowed one hit in 3 1/3 innings -- the Gonzalez double -- and impressed his manager along the way.

"Cory was outstanding," Black said. "He got the momentum back on our side."

So did Orlando Hudson. In his second game since coming off the 15-day disabled list, Hudson tied the game with a three-run home run to left field off Red Sox pitcher Andrew Miller in the sixth inning. It was his first home run in 269 at-bats, dating back to last season.

"Orlando got us back in it and our bats came alive there," said Anthony Rizzo, the rookie first baseman who came over in the Gonzalez deal. Rizzo had a double in four at-bats on Monday.

Headley finished with four hits, giving him three games on this road trip where he's had four hits. It's the first time in club history a player has had four hits in six games. He's 16-for-30 on this road trip and has raised his average from .269 to .297.

The Padres' bats may have come alive, but the arms went cold during that seventh inning. There were five hits in the inning, four walks and Frieri allowed two runs to score when he hit Marco Scutaro and Jason Varitek with pitches in successive at-bats with the bases loaded.

"It was a good game up until the seventh inning," said Gonzalez, who currently leads the Major Leagues with 67 RBIs.

"[The Padres] are a team that battles and they don't give up. It was good to be able to put up a lot of runs in that seventh inning."

That Gonzalez was one of the primary culprits in the Red Sox's 14-hit attack didn't merit a lot of astonishment from Headley, who was a teammate with Gonzalez for the better part of four seasons.

"When you surround him with the type of talent they have, when you have to throw him strikes, you know he's going to do well," said Headley, who then shifted back to talking about the kind of stress-free at-bats Gonzalez is having with Boston, at-bats that were not readily available for him in San Diego.

"I can tell you that it's a whole lot easier when you're up there and you're relaxed, when you don't have to get a hit." Comments