James Loney went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, Yunel Escobar knocked in a pair of runs and the Tampa Bay Rays took a 7-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a two-game set.
Evan Longoria homered while Matt Joyce, Jose Molina and Jake Odorizzi each collected an RBI for the Rays, who have won a season-best six straight.
Odorizzi (6-8) went 5 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on five hits and three walks with eight strikeouts.
“We played really well,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “Up and down, the lineup played well.”
St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright (12-5) was tagged for six runs — four earned — on six hits and a season high-tying four walks through 4 2/3 innings.
Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday each had a solo home run for St. Louis, which had won two of their last three coming in.
“We had a lot of swings out of the zone and up,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “(Odorizzi) did a nice job of staying under control.”
Carpenter got St. Louis on the board in the first with a leadoff homer to right-center.
However, Tampa Bay would tie the game in the second. Loney doubled and moved over to third on Molina’s single two batters later. Odorizzi helped his own cause by executing a perfect safety squeeze that allowed Loney to cross home and make it a 1-1 game.
Kevin Kiermaier walked to begin a five-run fifth and Wainwright committed his first error of the season two batters later on a dribbler from Ben Zobrist. Joyce made sure the error would hurt the Cardinals ace as he knocked a double down the third-base line for a 2-1 lead. Longoria was hit by a pitch to load the bases before Loney pushed another run across with a walk.
Escobar proceeded to flick a ground-rule double into the right-field corner that plated Joyce and Longoria, then Molina capped the scoring in the inning with an RBI groundout.
Holliday got a run back in the sixth after he launched his eighth homer of the season. The Cardinals put a pair of runners on later in the frame that forced Odorizzi out of the game, but Jeff Beliveau got pinch-hitter Peter Bourjos to strike out looking to escape further trouble.
Longoria poked a homer, his 12th of the season, with two outs in the ninth to account for the final margin.