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Tampa Bay at Cincinnati

Scoreboard
Tampa Bay100022000563
Cincinnati «04016300x14140

Reds 14, Devil Rays 5

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Rarely have the Cincinnati Reds had it so easy.

Luke Hudson won his season debut with six solid innings on a steamy night, and the suddenly revived Reds completed a three-game sweep of baseball's worst road team, routing the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 14-5 on Thursday.

"We've got some confidence going," first baseman Sean Casey said.

The Reds rallied from five-run deficits in each of the first two games of the series, the first time they'd done so since 1918. No rally was needed after the AL's worst pitching staff bungled another one away.

Casey Fossum (2-4) walked a season-high six in only four innings, needing 102 pitches to get that far. By the time he left trailing 5-1, the tone was set.

Tampa Bay pitchers walked eight in all, increasing their total to 252, most in the major leagues. Cincinnati hit two more homers -- 11 overall in the series -- while reaching a season high in runs.

They had a lot of help.

"Uh, look," manager Lou Piniella said, summing up his last-place team's plight. "When you're last in the league in pitching and last in the league in errors, that's not a good combination to win baseball games. We're last in the league in walks. There's a direct correlation between those things."

Hudson (1-0), sidelined since spring training by a sore shoulder, was activated before the game and gave up three hits, including two-run homers by Carl Crawford and Jorge Cantu. Hudson also drew a walk with the bases loaded, reached on an error and scored twice.

The right-hander was a contender for the rotation heading into spring training, but made only one start before the shoulder gave him problems. The three-month setback made the victory especially satisfying.

"It was rewarding," Hudson said. "I was in purgatory. I don't want to go through that again."

The Devil Rays often have that same feeling when they're on the road, whether in an AL park or one from the other league. They're 1-8 on a 12-game trip that concludes with three games in Pittsburgh.

Tampa Bay has lost 11 of its last 12 road games overall for a 4-26 mark that is the worst in either league.

Fossum, forced from his start last Friday in Seattle because of a tight groin, languished on a humid, 89-degree evening. He walked the first two batters, the last thing Piniella wanted to see from his struggling staff.

"I wasn't hesitant about throwing the ball," said Fossum, who had his leg wrapped for protection. "I had a tough time just getting a grip on the ball because of the humidity."

The left-hander needed 68 pitches to get through the first two innings alone. Joe Randa's two-run single helped the Reds pull ahead 5-1.

Cincinnati wrapped it up by sending 11 batters to the plate in the fifth against Jesus Colome. Casey singled home two runs, and Ken Griffey Jr. extended his hitting streak to 12 games with an RBI single.

Jason LaRue hit a two-run homer off Colome in the sixth, and Jacob Cruz followed with his second pinch-hit homer in two nights for a 14-5 lead. Colome then left the game with a stiff pitching shoulder.

Tampa Bay has given up 74 homers, most in the AL.

The Devil Rays' defense was a huge problem, too. They made three errors that set up five unearned runs, and now lead the majors with 53 errors in all.

The Reds racked up 34 runs during the sweep, which provided a momentary reprieve. The club's chief executive flew to Colorado for the final game of a trip on Sunday, warning that major changes would be made if the team didn't start winning.

By sweeping the series, the Reds matched their longest winning streak of the season -- three games -- and changed their outlook from four days ago.

"It was baseball hell in Colorado," Griffey said. "For some strange reason, we weren't getting it done. Eventually, it's got to change. The big thing is we've got to stay positive."

Notes

Only 16,381 tickets were sold for the game, the Reds' fifth-smallest home gate this season. ... The Reds are 6-0 in two series against Tampa Bay. They also swept a series in Florida in 2003. ... Tampa Bay 1B Travis Lee had the game's best defensive play. He made a diving catch of Griffey's liner in the fourth, then rolled the ball to second base to double up Randa. ... 3B Nick Green was a late scratch from the Devil Rays' lineup because of a sore left shoulder. ... Reds SS Felipe Lopez had the day off to rest. ... Cincinnati's upcoming series against Baltimore could mark the first time that three 500-homer players have appeared in the same game -- Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Griffey.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Cincinnati

S. Casey
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
Cincinnati

J. LaRue
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Carl Crawford, LF4122000 .277
    Lee Gardner, P0000000 .000
Julio Lugo, SS3110101 .283
Aubrey Huff, RF3010100 .256
Travis Lee, 1B3101101 .252
Jorge Cantu, 2B4122002 .287
Reggie Taylor, CF4000012 .250
Toby Hall, C4000000 .306
Alex Gonzalez, 3B3100100 .248
Casey Fossum, P1000000 .000
   a- Eduardo Perez, PH1000000 .277
    Jesus Colome, P0000000 .000
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
   b- Damon Hollins, PH-LF2000000 .309
Totals32565416 
a-grounded out for Fossum in the 5th
b-lined out for Miller in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jorge Cantu (12, Coffey)
HR - Carl Crawford (7, Hudson), Jorge Cantu (7, Hudson)
RBI - Carl Crawford 2 (38), Travis Lee (14), Jorge Cantu 2 (28)
2-OUT RBI - Carl Crawford 2 (11)
SB - Carl Crawford (16, 2nd base off Coffey/LaRue), Julio Lugo (15, 3rd base off Hudson/LaRue), Aubrey Huff (8, 2nd base off Hudson/LaRue)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Lee-Lugo
E - Jorge Cantu (8, misplayed grounder), Toby Hall (3, wild throw), Julio Lugo (13, misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Casey Fossum (L,2-4) 4455630 4.23
Jesus Colome 1.1994122 7.16
Trever Miller 0.2000000 3.38
Lee Gardner 2100130 6.23
HBP - Freel (by Casey Fossum), Casey (by Trever Miller)
WP - Jesus Colome (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Casey Fossum 103-54, Jesus Colome 51-33, Trever Miller 5-4, Lee Gardner 40-27
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Casey Fossum 2-6, Jesus Colome 3-1, Lee Gardner 3-0
Batters Faced - Casey Fossum 22, Jesus Colome 16, Trever Miller 3, Lee Gardner 8
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, 2B4310112 .314
Joe Randa, 3B2112300 .299
    Luis Lopez, 3B1000000 .158
Sean Casey, 1B4123101 .322
Ken Griffey Jr., CF5011007 .272
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
   a- Austin Kearns, PH1000010 .224
    Matt Belisle, P0000000 .143
Wily Mo Pena, RF-CF5011016 .323
Adam Dunn, LF5220022 .241
Rich Aurilia, SS5231010 .228
Jason LaRue, C4222111 .245
Luke Hudson, P2201110 .000
   b- Jacob Cruz, PH-RF1111100 .302
Totals391414128819 
a-struck out for Coffey in the 8th
b-homered for Hudson in the 6th
Batting
2B - Wily Mo Pena (8, Colome), Adam Dunn (12, Colome), Rich Aurilia (7, Colome)
HR - Jason LaRue (5, Colome), Jacob Cruz (2, Colome)
RBI - Joe Randa 2 (35), Sean Casey 3 (28), Ken Griffey Jr. (40), Wily Mo Pena (17), Rich Aurilia (18), Jason LaRue 2 (23), Luke Hudson (1), Jacob Cruz (8)
2-OUT RBI - Sean Casey 2 (12), Ken Griffey Jr. (17), Wily Mo Pena (8)
SB - Ryan Freel 3 (17, 2nd base off Fossum/Hall, 3rd base off Fossum/Hall, 2nd base off Colome/Hall)
Team LOB - 11
Cincinnati Reds
Luke Hudson (W,1-0) 6355402 7.50
Todd Coffey 2300010 5.51
Matt Belisle 1000000 4.65
Pitches-Strikes - Luke Hudson 91-51, Todd Coffey 30-18, Matt Belisle 6-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luke Hudson 8-10, Todd Coffey 2-2, Matt Belisle 3-0
Batters Faced - Luke Hudson 25, Todd Coffey 8, Matt Belisle 3
Game Information
Attendance - 16381
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Tim Timmons