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Rays 7, Padres 5: Nine consecutive road wins

After a troublesome first, Brendan McKay battled to keep the Rays in a position to win, and they did just that.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at San Diego Padres Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays put a healthy 10 runs on the board in last night’s series opener against the San Diego Padres. Looking to stay hot, rookie Brendan McKay got the ball.

Austin Meadows got things going early:

But the Friars answered back in a big way, as McKay had trouble getting things going. Three walks and two hits, including a bases loaded double put the Rays in a 4-1 hole after the home half. It was a 29 pitch grind for the left-hander

But the Rays started chipping away almost immediately. Ji-Man Choi lined a leadoff double, followed by a single by Willy Adames to cut the deficit to 2.

The second inning was another struggle for McKay, who issued another two walks in the inning. He’d escape the jam, but coming into the game with just 3 walks allowed, he’d already dished out 5 in the game at that point.

But the Rays kept chipping away, this time on a single by Meadows in the 5th to put the game within one:

McKay pitched four innings in total, and while he never quite got into a groove, recovered nicely after his nightmarish first, striking out 7 in total and holding the Pardes to the four runs.

In the top the the sixth, the Rays made it a new ballgame on a throwing error by Padres reliever Craig Stammen:

Nick Anderson delivered another stellar performance when he struck out the side in the home half. He’s now struck out 14 batters in just 6 innings since being acquired at the July 31st trade deadline.

And it was a good thing, because the Rays soon broke the game open:

A double by Eric Sogard added another run to increase the lead to three.

In the Eighth, Jose Alvarado made his first appearance since being activated from the IL. It wasn’t the most stellar outing, netting only two outs, allowing a run to score. With two on, Emilio Pagan struck out Wil Myers to end the threat.

Pagan went out to pitch the ninth as well, and struck out Eric Hosmer to seal the game as well as the series victory.