The Rays completed their sweep of the San Diego Padres with a 4-2 victory and move their record to over .500 at 19-18 for the first time since the 5th game of the season. Roberto Hernandez (2-4, 4.43) worked the first 6 innings for the win and Fernando Rodney came in to earn his 6th save on the year.
For the 6th time in 7 starts this year Roberto Hernandez (2-4, 4.43) worked into the 6th inning. In his 6 innings of work against the Padres he allowed 2R/2ER on 5 hits, striking out 4 and walking 2. He was removed after the Rays had taken a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 6th and replaced by Jake McGee.
As to why he removed Hernandez? Joe Maddon said after the game that “it was a long inning plus once we got the lead that’s the way it’s supposed to look like…he had like 95 or 96 pitches…why set it up for a relief pitcher to have to come into a game when it’s a little hotter by having Jake coming in to begin the inning with nobody on base benefits him.”
McGee worked a solid inning retiring all 3 batters he faced striking out 1. Joel Peralta worked the scoreless 8th inning and Fernando Rodney a scoreless night. Overall the trio worked 3 scoreless innings allowing 1 hit striking out 5 and walking 1. When discussing the trio after the game Maddon said “Peralta, Jake..all these guys are throwing the ball extremely well, not just o.k….and as they get their confidence flowing through a couple successful outings your going to see them really take off.”
For the Padres starter Eric Stults (3-3, 4.57) kept the Rays hitters off balance for much of the afternoon working 5.1 innings allowing 3R/ER on 6 hits, striking out 2 while issuing 5 walks. Brad Brach worked 0.2 scoreless innings, Dale Thayer gave up 1R/ER in 1.1 innings, and Luke Gregerson worked 0.2 scoreless innings. With the loss the Padres drop t 16-21 on the season.
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The Padres tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the 4th. Chase Headley drew the leadoff walk and advanced to 2nd on a Carlos Quentin single and came around to score on a Yonder Alonso single. Hernandez was able to limit the damage by inducing a ground ball back to the mound off the bat of Chris Denorfia that Hernandez fielded and wheeled and fired a bullet to second to begin the 1-4-3 double play.
The Padres took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 5th on a Alexi Aramista solo home run that he hit on an 0-2 pitch.
The Rays scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 6th to move ahead of the Padres 3-2 . Evan Longoria led off with a double and advanced to 3rd on a James Loney fly out and came around to score on a Sean Rodriguez single. Stults was replaced by Brad Brach who after uncorking a wild pitch that allowed Rodriguez to advance 3rd gave up a an RBI double to Yunel Escobar.
James Loney provided the Rays with an insurance run belting a solo home run to lead off the 8th.
The Rays will be off Monday and begin a 3-game series with the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday evening. The Rays will send Matt Moore (6-0, 2.14 ERA) up against John Lackey (1-2, 2.82 ERA) with first pitch at 7:10.