Reds rip Rays to avoid interleague sweep
Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Heisey hit a grand slam and Devin Mesoraco went 2-for-3 with a three- run homer and four RBI to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 12-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays and avoid a three-game sweep at Great American Ball Park.
Joey Votto added a two-run homer, Zack Cozart had two hits and two RBI and Jay Bruce finished with a double, four walks and four runs scored for the Reds, who won for just the fourth time this season.
"We understand that we're a good team, and everyone in there knows it," Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Tony Cingrani (1-1) allowed two runs -- which came on a Ben Zobrist homer -- among five hits while fanning six over 6 1/3 innings to pick up his first win of the season.
Zobrist finished with a pair of two-run homers for the Rays, who had won three of four entering the contest.
"You just file it and move on. This is less than the 30-minute rule. This is the 30-second rule. Just drop it and move on," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Cesar Ramos (0-1) allowed four runs on three hits over two-plus innings to saddle the loss in his first start of the year.
The Reds scored a pair of runs in the second, but a pair of baserunning blunders cost them a shot at adding more in the frame. With the bases loaded and one out, Cozart ripped a ground-rule double to right-center that scored Bruce and Ryan Ludwick.
With runners on second and third and one out later in the inning, the Rays drew their infield in. Cingrani topped a chopper to shortstop Yunel Escobar, who fired the ball home to catch Logan Forsythe at the plate. Forsythe attempted to retreat back to third, but was quickly tagged by catcher Ryan Hanigan. As Hanigan was tagging out Forsythe, Cingrani broke for second and was caught in a rundown. When first baseman Sean Rodriguez caught the ball in the rundown, he turned and fired to the plate to get a breaking Cozart.
Zobrist smacked a two-run homer in the third, but Reds plated five runs via the long ball in the home half to break the game open.
Billy Hamilton singled in front of Votto's line-drive homer to right-center. With two on and two outs later in the frame, Mesoraco smacked a three-run shot to left.
Mesoraco pushed another run across in the fifth with a sacrifice fly to center for an 8-2 lead.
Zobrist pulled the Rays within four after crushing his second two-run homer of the game in the seventh, but Heisey's grand slam in the eighth put the game out of reach.
The Reds continue a six-game homestand when they host the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, then open a 10-game road trek in Chicago on Friday ... Heisey's grand slam was his first of his career ... The Reds were 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position ... The Rays finished 2-for-7 with RISP.
04/13 21:52:32 ET