What's new: The Padres are coming off a sweep of the Marlins and have won 11 of their past 14 after a 5-15 start. 3B Chase Headley is the key to their lineup, hitting .320 with a .935 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. OF Carlos Quentin, a former Stanford teammate of Rays OF Sam Fuld, is known for hitting and getting hit. He was hit an MLB-most 17 times last season. 1B Yonder Alonso leads the team in homers (four, with Will Venable) and RBIs (22). The pitching has improved, with a 3.19 ERA over the 14-game run after a rough start. LHP Clayton Richard and OF Cameron Maybin are among the Padres on the DL. Manager Bud Black is a friend and former Angels colleague of Rays manager Joe Maddon.
Key stat: Headley is on a 13-game hitting streak, the fifth of his career of 10 or more games, and has a .400 average in that stretch.
Connections: Rays RHP Brandon Gomes, C Jose Lobaton, LHP Cesar Ramos are former Padres. … Padres RHP Dale Thayer is a former Ray.
Series history: Tied 6-6, though Padres took two of three at the Trop in 2007, 2010.
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer