St. Petersburg, FL – Ryan Roberts' go-ahead two-run single was part of a four-run seventh inning that lifted the Tampa Rays to a 6-3 win over the San Diego Padres in the opener of a three-game interleague set.
Matt Joyce tallied two hits and scored twice for Tampa Bay, which plated six unanswered runs.
Rays starter Alex Cobb struck out 13 batters, but lasted just 4 2/3 innings after surrendering three runs on five hits and two walks. Jake McGee (1-2) tossed a scoreless seventh to pick up the win.
Will Venable and Carlos Quentin smacked solo homers for the Padres, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
The Rays trailed 3-2 after six innings, but surged ahead in the seventh.
Jose Lobaton led off the inning with a single and Yunel Escobar reached when Dale Thayer (0-2) fielded his sacrifice bunt and committed a throwing error to first. Joyce's base hit then loaded the bases before Roberts lined a single to left to bring home Lobaton and Escobar.
"After getting down 0-2, the main thing is to just try to make contact," Roberts said. "Bases loaded, nobody out. All you want to do is put the ball in play, at least tie the game if you can. That's basically it. I'm not trying to do too much."
Ben Zobrist pushed across Joyce and Roberts with a ground-ball base hit up the middle to give Tampa Bay a 6-3 lead.
"We just didn't play well that inning," Padres manager Bud Black said.
Joel Peralta tossed a scoreless eighth for Tampa Bay and Fernando Rodney worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth to notch his fifth save of the year.
The Padres opened the scoring with a pair of solo homers in the first and plated another run in the third.
Venable ripped a one-out shot just over the wall in right and Quentin stepped up two batters later and hooked the eighth pitch of his at-bat down the left- field line for a 2-0 lead. Venable led off the third and struck out swinging, but reached first on a wild pitch. He stole second and third before scoring on a balk to make it 3-0.
The Rays responded and pushed across two runs in the home half. Evan Longoria had an RBI single and Roberts scored on a wild pitch.
The Rays were 4-of-11 with runners in scoring position, while San Diego was 1- for-5 with RISP ... Venable has seven stolen bases and five homers this year ... Cobb threw 117 pitches.