Hernandez, Rays Sweep Padres For 5th Straight Win

DICK SCANLON,Associated Press
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(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Sean Rodriguez, Yunel Escobar and James Loney drove in late runs for the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday in a 4-2 victory that completed a three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres.

The Rays won their fifth in a row overall.

Roberto Hernandez (2-4) pitched six innings, giving up five hits and two runs.

Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth inning for his 11th save.

The Rays trailed 2-1 in the sixth when Evan Longoria, who hit a winning two-run homer with two outs in the ninth Saturday night, led off with a double. Rodriguez hit a tying single off Eric Stults (3-3), moved up on a wild pitch by Brad Brach and scored on Escobar’s double for a 3-2 lead.

Loney, hitting .456 in his last 24 games, connected for his third homer of the season in the eighth off Dale Thayer.

Longoria scored twice. He walked in the second and headed home on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Jose Molina.

Yonder Alonso tied it for the Padres with an RBI single in the fourth. Alexi Amarista’s second home run of the season put the Padres ahead 2-1 in the fifth.

Stults pitched 5 1-3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and five walks.

The Padres finished with six hits. They were robbed by excellent defensive plays by Sam Fuld in center field, Escobar at short and Matt Joyce in right field.

NOTES: RHP Burch Smith, who pitched only 1 1-3 innings for the Padres in his major league debut Saturday night, will start at home next weekend against Washington. Manager Bud Black said he plans to use “the same rotation for the foreseeable future.” … Rays CF Desmond Jennings was out of the lineup for a third straight day. The Rays have acknowledged no injury for Jennings, who is on a seven-game hitting streak. . . Amarista’s home run was the Padres’ 19th in 14 games. They hit only 12 in their first 23 games.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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