BY: John Mamola
The Cincinnati Reds offense which has been dormant the first two games of the series against the Tampa Bay Rays awoke with authority in the finale scoring twelve runs in a 12-4 win on Sunday afternoon. Cesar Ramos’ made his first start since 2012 in the place of the injured Matt Moore, and it did not last long as Ramos struggled with control issues leading to a quick two inning appearance.
Following a strong first inning for Ramos’ getting the first three batters of the game on 16 pitches, Ramos’ would walk three straight batters in the second setting up the Reds first runs of the game. Zack Cozart took a 1-1 pitch to deep right center which bounced over the wall scoring the Reds first two runs of the game.
Ben Zobrist tied the game in the top of the third inning with a blast to left center following a Sean Rodriguez walk. The Rays were back in the game at 2-2, but Ramos struggles continued into the bottom half of the third inning as three pitches into the frame the Reds took another two run lead on a blast off the bat of Joey Votto.
Ramos was then pulled after only two innings of work allowing four runs on three hits.
The Reds added three more runs on a three run home run by Devin Mesoraco in the bottom of the third inning and led the game 7-2. Mesoraco added another RBI in the bottom of the fifth inning giving Cincinnati an 8-2 lead.
Ben Zobrist cut into the Reds lead with his second two run blast of the game in the seventh inning. For Zobrist it was the first time in his career he hit a home run from both sides of the plate in the same game, and the fourth multi-home run game of his career.
The Reds added four more in the bottom of the eighth on a pinch hit grand slam by Chris Heisey and the Rays fail to sweep the series in Cincinnati after only allowing one run in the first two games of the series.
Tony Cingrani earned his first win of the season with a 6 1/3 innings pitched outing allowing two runs on five hits and six strikeouts. With Ramos’ early departure, the Rays used five relievers including Erik Bedard who made his season debut going two innings allowing a run on two hits.
The Rays will now head to Baltimore to begin a three game series with the Orioles on Monday night. Chris Archers gets the nod for Tampa Bay as Baltimore counters with Wei Yen-Chen. Catch all the coverage on WDAE beginning at 6:30pm with the pre-game, and a 7:10pm first pitch.