Final Score: Tampa Bay 8, San Diego 7
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Evan Longoria hit a game-winning, two-
run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Tampa Bay Rays pulled out
an 8-7 victory over the San Diego Padres in the middle test of a three-game
set at Tropicana Field.
Huston Street (0-2) blew the save while trying to hold a 7-6 San Diego lead
heading into the ninth. The right-hander retired the first two batters he
faced, but walked Ben Zobrist and then served up Longoria's clutch home run.
"It takes the team to be able to get you up to the plate in those
opportunities, and fortunately enough I've been able to come through,"
Longoria said. "It doesn't get any better than being able to be in the moment
and come through, so it feels good."
The Padres had taken the lead after scoring five runs in the seventh. Pinch-
hitter Jesus Guzman hit a grand slam and Carlos Quentin walked with the bases
Tampa Bay starter Jeremy Hellickson entered the seventh with a four-run
advantage, but loaded the bases and allowed Guzman's game-tying blast.
Reliever Jamey Wright quickly filled the bags again, before Quentin walked to
force in a run.
James Loney added a two-run shot and Yunel Escobar drove in two runs for the
Rays, winners of four straight. Cesar Ramos (1-0) tossed 2 1/3 scoreless
innings to pick up the win.
Tampa Bay led comfortably, 6-2, through six innings before Hellickson broke
down in the seventh.
The right-hander had retired 16 consecutive San Diego batters following Yonder
Alonso's first-inning single, but quickly loaded the bases with two outs
thanks to issuing a walk and a pair of singles. The pinch-hitting Guzman then
ended Hellickson's night by clubbing his 3-2 offering over the left field wall
for a grand slam to tie the game at 6-6.
To make matters worse in the inning, Wright soon loaded the bases yet again.
Everth Cabrera reached first on Zobrist's fielding error, and after he stole
second, Wright plunked Will Venable. The next two batters, Chase Headley and
Quentin, were also issued walks, with Quentin's giving the Padres a 7-6 lead.
"Hellickson was pitching so well after the first inning," Padres manager Bud
Black said. "He had all his pitches working, so our guys hung in there, stayed
in the game."
Cesar Ramos finally ended the dreadful inning by striking out Alonso.
Burch Smith, making his major league debut, lasted just one-plus frame and
allowed six runs in the second on five hits for San Diego.
In the second, Smith showed signs of looking like a rookie, while Tampa Bay
broke out the bats.
Longoria walked to lead off the frame and Loney followed with a home run to
right to tie the contest at 2-2. Smith issued another walk to Luke Scott
and the next two batters hit consecutive singles to load the bases.
Escobar's single through the left side scored two and Matt Joyce, the last
batter Smith would face, plated a run with an RBI double to right. Tyson
Ross relieved Smith and gave up Kelly Johnson's sacrifice fly to left, which
rounded out the scoring for the hosts in the frame.
Headley smacked his fourth homer of the season, a two-run shot, to give the
visitors a 2-0 lead in the first.
The Rays improved to 12-6 at home this season ... It was Longoria's ninth home
run of the year ... San Diego optioned pitcher Brad Boxberger to Triple-A
Tucson in order to have roster space for Smith ... Tampa Bay went 3-for-10
with runners in scoring position.
05/11 23:56:35 ET
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