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Reds pummel Rays to avoid sweep

Devin Mesoraco is welcomed by teammates after hitting one of the Reds three home runs Sunday
Devin Mesoraco is welcomed by teammates after hitting one of the Reds three home runs Sunday
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After scoring just one run in the previous 18 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Cincinnati Reds erupted for 12 runs on 13 hits for a 12-4 victory on Sunday at Great American Ballpark.

The Reds (4-8) have won one game in each series they've played in and made sure to not get swept by pouncing on the off day by Cesar Ramos (0-1). Ramos was chased in the third inning after allowing four runs on just three hits and issuing three walks. The Rays (7-6) were baffled by Tony Cingrani (1-1) with the exception of Ben Zobrist whose two-run homer was the only blemish against Cingrani in 6.1 innings.

Cincinnati finally capitalized with a runner in scoring position when Zack Cozart drove in two before his double bounced over the right field wall. This actually benefited Ramos, as Devin Mesoraco had a chance to score had the hit not turned into a ground-rule double. Zobrist quickly erased that lead when he hit the first of his two two-run home runs.

The Reds broke the game open with the long ball against two different pitchers in the third. Joey Votto chased Ramos with a two-run blast and then Mesoraco drove in three more on his round tripper against Brandon Gomes. Mesoraco drove in another run in the fifth, this time against Erik Bedard, on a sac fly after Jay Bruce had advanced to third on a throwing error by Wil Myers on the previous play.

The lead shrunk to 8-4 when Zobrist victimized Nick Christiani for his next two-run shot. Cincinnati would deal a crippling blow in the bottom of the eight when Chris Heisey hit a pinch-hit grand slam to make it a 12-4 game. Sam LeCure and Curtis Partch each tossed scoreless innings to salvage a win in the interleague series.

The Reds welcome a Pittsburgh Pirates (6-6) team that was just swept out of Milwaukee, who has now won nine straight to sit atop the NL Central at 10-2. If the heavy rains stay away on Monday, Wandy Rodriguez (0-2, 5.73 ERA) will face Homer Bailey (0-1, 7.71 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.