Rays sweep Padres, win fifth straight
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Yunel Escobar doubled home the go-ahead run in the sixth inning as the Tampa Bay Rays edged the San Diego Padres, 4-2, to complete a three-game sweep at Tropicana Field.
Evan Longoria opened the sixth with a double to center field, then moved to third on James Loney's fly ball to right. Sean Rodriguez followed with a base hit to center to score Longoria.
Reliever Brad Brach, who replaced starter Eric Stults (3-3), threw a wild pitch to allow Rodriguez to move to second. The miscue proved to be costly as Escobar smashed a double to right field to push Rodriguez across.
Loney added a solo homer in the eighth to account for the final difference.
Loney finished the game with two hits and Jose Molina added an RBI for the Rays, who have won five straight.
Roberto Hernandez (2-4) gave up two runs on five hits over six innings and Fernando Rodney stranded a runner in the ninth to earn his sixth save of the season.
"The pitching is starting to look like it's supposed to and while all that's happening, let's maintain this offensive production and see where it takes us," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Alexi Amarista homered and Yonder Alonso had two hits and an RBI for the Padres, who were swept for the fourth time this season. Stults gave up three runs on five hits and five walks over 5 1/3 innings to absorb the loss.
"Three, well-played, close games that didn't go our way," Padres manager Bud Black said of his team being swept.
With the bases loaded in the second inning, Molina lifted a towering sacrifice fly to right field to score Longoria.
The Padres evened the score in the fourth as Alonso ripped a base hit up the middle to score Chase Headley, and Amarista added his solo shot in the fifth to put San Diego in front 2-1.
Tampa Bay leads the majors with 39 homers since April 15 ... The Rays (19-18) are above .500 for the first time since April 6 when they were 3-2 ... Tampa Bay was 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position ... The Padres are 6-12 on the road this season ... Padres right fielder Will Venable extended his hitting streak to six games.
05/12 20:48:36 ET