Zobrist, who started in right field, entered the game batting .216, but had an on-base percentage of .370 with eight walks in 11 games.
Maddon said he wanted to bat Zobrist ahead of Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria in the Rays' lineup.
"I wanted to get [Zobrist] in front of the other guys," Maddon said before Wednesday's game at Rogers Centre. "Zo is always a high on-base percentage guy and that's the reason to get him in front of Carlos and Longo. The integrity of Longo and Carlos together, 2-3, is pretty much still there."
It paid immediate dividends. Zobrist hit his second homer of the season in the first inning with Desmond Jennings aboard after a leadoff single.
Maddon has liked the at-bats by the Rays, but the hits have not been coming with runners in scoring position. Tampa Bay entered Wednesday's game batting .198 as a team with runners in scoring position.
"We've not been good at that since Spring Training, actually." Maddon said. "We had a hard time in camp driving in those runs. It'll happen. ... We've had a lot of good at-bats, but we're just not producing at the right time. That's just the cycle of this game."