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San Diego at Tampa Bay

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San Diego (16-20)200000500761
Tampa Bay (18-18) «0600000028101

Longoria walk-off HR lifts Rays over Padres

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- One swing of Evan Longoria's bat erased another night of frustration for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Longoria hit a two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning off Padres closer Huston Street on Saturday night, rallying the Rays to an 8-7 victory over San Diego.

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Street (0-2) retired the first two batters in the ninth before walking Ben Zobrist on a full count. Longoria followed with his ninth home run, handing Street his first blown save in nine tries this season.

"You need games like this, whether it's myself or anybody coming through in the clutch, to kind of boost morale and jump-start everything," Longoria said.

Failing to finish off Zobrist is what bothered Street the most.

"You get him 1-2, you've got to make a pitch," he said. "I'm frustrated about that just as much as leaving a pitch to Longoria in the middle of the plate."

It was the fourth straight win for the Rays, who had to come back after Jesus Guzman's pinch-hit grand slam off Jeremy Hellickson helped San Diego overcame a 6-2 deficit in the seventh. If the Padres had held on, it would have been the 14th game the Rays lost this season after leading. They had lost twice this week after taking big leads into the late innings.

"It would have been among the top three worst losses of the year," said manager Joe Maddon, who was uncharacteristically perturbed about another blown lead.

"That's not going to happen very often," Maddon said. "We were fortunate Longo was in the right spot, fortunate that Zo gets it as a hitter. You had all this talent coming together at that particular moment. But you can't go to the dance playing like that. When you get leads, you've got to put the other team away. I'm not happy with that. That's inappropriate. That's got to stop."

Cesar Ramos (1-0) got the win as the Rays moved up to .500 for the first time since April 7.

James Loney hit a two-run homer as the Rays roughed up San Diego's Burch Smith in the second inning of his major league debut. The Rays scored six runs on five hits and a couple of walks in the inning and drove Smith out of the game.

"I feel the difference between the first and second inning was I was locating the fastball better. The second inning I was leaving pitches over the plate," said Smith. "Hitters at this level are going to take advantage of mistakes. [I'll] come back next time and do better."

Hellickson retired 16 straight batters after giving up three hits, including Chase Headley's two-run homer, in the first.

Hellickson took a four-run lead into the seventh, when he walked Carlos Quentin to start the Padres' rally. After Guzman's slam, Quentin walked again in the same inning, this time with the bases loaded against Jamey Wright to force in the lead run that made it 7-6.

"It was a huge blow at the time, but our spirit didn't wane," Longoria said. "We stayed in the game, continued to have good at bats, and we're happy to get the results that we did."

Smith, a 23-year-old righty called up from Double-A San Antonio, got three quick outs, including a couple of strikeouts in his first inning. But he walked Longoria to lead off the second and Loney followed with his second homer of the season. Smith threw 26 pitches in the inning without getting an out. Tyson Ross finished the inning for the Padres and pitched four shutout innings of relief.

Hellickson pitched 6 2-3 innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits while striking out eight. He has had leads in each of his last four starts, but has not won any of them.

Notes

  • San Diego optioned RHP Brad Boxberger to Triple-A Tucson to open a roster spot for Smith. Boxberger appeared in two games for the Padres.
  • Padres LHP Clayton Richard, recovering from an intestinal virus and eligible to come off the disabled list on May 20, will pitch for Triple-A Tucson in a rehab game on Thursday.
  • Rays CF and leadoff hitter Desmond Jennings was out of the lineup for the second straight night. Manager Joe Maddon said he's simply giving Jennings, who's batting .244 and has a season-best seven-game hitting streak, some rest. "I think with a little respite, this guy is going to be even better when he comes back. There's nothing wrong. I just want to give him a break," Maddon said. Sam Fuld made his second straight start in center field.
  • Smith was the 443rd player drafted in 2011 and the ninth to make it to the majors.
 
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Evan Longoria watches his two-run, walk-off HR that lifts the Rays to their fourth straight win.  (USATSI)
Evan Longoria watches his two-run, walk-off HR that lifts the Rays to their fourth straight win. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

E. Longoria
AB 4
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
San Diego

J. Guzman
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
 
San Diego Padres
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Everth Cabrera, SS5100010 .245
Will Venable, RF4110020 .244
Chase Headley, 3B3112100 .305
Carlos Quentin, LF2101210 .171
    Kyle Blanks, LF0000000 .255
Yonder Alonso, 1B4010024 .268
Mark Kotsay, DH3110001 .310
   a- Chris Denorfia, PH-DH1000000 .294
Jedd Gyorko, 2B4000032 .248
Alexi Amarista, CF4110020 .232
John Baker, C2000000 .115
   b- Jesus Guzman, PH1114000 .236
    Nick Hundley, C1000000 .262
Totals34767311  
a-flied out for Kotsay in the 8th
b-homered for Baker in the 7th
Batting
HR - Chase Headley (4, Hellickson), Jesus Guzman (1, Hellickson)
RBI - Chase Headley 2 (12), Carlos Quentin (11), Jesus Guzman 4 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Quentin (5), Jesus Guzman 4 (6)
SB - Everth Cabrera (11, 2nd base off Wright/Lobaton)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Gyorko-Cabrera-Alonso
E - Alexi Amarista (2, Throwing)
San Diego Padres
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Burch Smith 1566221 54.00
Tyson Ross 4300130 3.00
Brad Brach 1.1100000 5.65
Joe Thatcher (H,3) 1000000 1.69
Luke Gregerson (H,9) 0.2000010 1.06
Huston Street (BS,1; L,0-2) 0.2122101 4.91
HBP - Zobrist (by Tyson Ross)
Pitches-Strikes - Burch Smith 42-26, Tyson Ross 68-49, Brad Brach 21-12, Joe Thatcher 18-12, Luke Gregerson 7-4, Huston Street 21-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Burch Smith 1-0, Tyson Ross 3-5, Brad Brach 2-2, Joe Thatcher 1-2
Batters Faced - Burch Smith 10, Tyson Ross 16, Brad Brach 5, Joe Thatcher 3, Luke Gregerson 2, Huston Street 4
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Matt Joyce, RF5021012 .237
Kelly Johnson, LF4011011 .277
Ben Zobrist, 2B3100101 .260
Evan Longoria, 3B4212113 .333
James Loney, 1B4112003 .371
Luke Scott, DH2100210 .276
Sam Fuld, CF4110001 .182
Jose Lobaton, C4120010 .276
Yunel Escobar, SS4122010 .187
Totals34810846  
Batting
2B - Matt Joyce 2 (3, Smith, Brach)
HR - Evan Longoria (9, Street), James Loney (2, Smith)
SF - Kelly Johnson (2)
RBI - Matt Joyce (11), Kelly Johnson (19), Evan Longoria 2 (26), James Loney 2 (19), Yunel Escobar 2 (10)
2-OUT RBI - Evan Longoria 2 (11)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Ben Zobrist (3, Dropped line drive)
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeremy Hellickson 6.2666182 5.25
Jamey Wright0010200 2.30
Cesar Ramos (W,1-0) 2.1000030 3.55
HBP - Venable (by Jamey Wright)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Hellickson 110-75, Jamey Wright 20-7, Cesar Ramos 17-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Hellickson 7-5, Cesar Ramos 1-3
Batters Faced - Jeremy Hellickson 27, Jamey Wright 4, Cesar Ramos 7
Game Information
Attendance - 18587
Game Time - 3:23
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Adrian Johnson, Third Base - Field Culbreth