Tampa Bay at Cincinnati

Heisey hits first grand slam as Reds power past Rays

CBSSports.com wire reports

CINCINNATI -- The Reds went two weeks before breaking out of their hitting slump.

Chris Heisey connected for his first grand slam and Devin Mesoraco homered and drove in a career high-tying four runs as Cincinnati took advantage of Tampa Bay's depleted pitching staff for a 12-4 victory on Sunday.

The Reds' best offensive showing of the season featured Mesoraco's three-run homer, Joey Votto's two-run shot and Heisey's pinch-hit slam in the eighth. Jay Bruce doubled, walked four times and scored four runs.

The Reds had a brief meeting following a 1-0 loss on Saturday that epitomized their season-long struggle at the plate.

"The key early in the season is to not lose faith," manager Bryan Price said. "We understand that we're a good team, and everyone in there knows it."

For the first time all season, they played like it.

The Reds salvaged the final game of their interleague series but remained in last place in the NL Central at 4-8. The hitters have been the biggest problem, tied for last in the majors heading into the game.

Zack Cozart got it going with a bases-loaded double off Cesar Ramos (0-1), making his first start of the season because of injuries. The Reds finished with a season high in runs -- they hadn't scored more than six in any previous game -- and hits with 13.

"It's so early that you really can't say we're not going to hit with runners in scoring position," Mesoraco said. "We've just got to bear down and try not to do too much."

Left-hander Tony Cingrani (1-1) gave up five hits in 6 1-3 innings. Ben Zobrist homered from both sides of the plate, hitting two-run shots off Cingrani and right-hander Nick Christiani.

"It was great to see them come through and break out and get five runs (early)," Cingrani said. "It was just a matter of time. We've got a great hitting lineup. Today was the day they broke out of it."

The Rays are 3-3 on a trip that has been tough on their rotation. Matt Moore went on the disabled list with a sore elbow on Tuesday, and Alex Cobb joined him Sunday with a strained oblique. Also, reliever Joel Peralta was sick, leaving him unavailable.

The injuries affected the final game of the series. Ramos, who had made four relief appearances this season, started in Moore's place and helped the Reds' offense get unstuck.

"One of those days, man," manager Joe Maddon said. "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."

Cincinnati came into the game tied with San Diego for fewest runs in the majors with 28. Ramos helped the Reds by walking the bases loaded in the second, and Cozart hit a ground-rule double for his third hit of the season and a 2-0 lead.

Votto's second homer of the series sparked a 10-batter, five-run third inning. Ramos left after throwing 47 pitches. Brandon Gomes relieved and gave up Mesoraco's homer.

Mesoraco added a sacrifice fly in the fifth. The catcher opened the season on the disabled list with a strained oblique. In four games the past week, he went 7 for 14 with three doubles, two homers and six RBIs.

Heisey connected in the eighth off Josh Lueke for his seventh career pinch-hit homer.


The Rays open a three-game series in Baltimore on Monday, starting Chris Archer (1-0) against Wei-Yin Chen (1-1). ... The Reds continue their six-game homestand by hosting Pittsburgh. Homer Bailey (0-1), who has won his last five starts against the Pirates, goes against Wandy Rodriguez (0-2). ... Rays called up LH reliever Jeff Beliveau from Triple-A Durham to fill Cobb's roster spot and sent him back after the game. LH Erik Bedard, who also was added to the roster on Sunday, will take Cobb's spot in the rotation for now. ... It was Zobrist's fourth career multihomer game. ... Maddon batted Ramos eighth, figuring that he'd have to pinch-hit for him early anyway. ... Reds starter Mat Latos was diagnosed with a sprained right forearm. He won't throw for 10 to 14 days. ... Third base umpire Tim Welke was honored before he worked his 4,000th regular-season game.

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Chris Heisey rounds the bases after hitting his first-career grand slam, and the Reds get the win.  (USATSI)
Chris Heisey rounds the bases after hitting his first-career grand slam, and the Reds get the win. (USATSI)

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Tampa Bay Rays
Ben Zobrist, LF5224013 .277
Desmond Jennings, CF3000110 .233
   Heath Bell, P0000000 .000
   Josh Lueke, P0000000 .000
   a-David DeJesus, PH0000100 .172
Evan Longoria, 3B5000013 .313
Wil Myers, RF-CF4010001 .233
Logan Forsythe, 2B4010011 .200
Yunel Escobar, SS3020100 .205
Ryan Hanigan, C3000114 .185
Cesar Ramos, P1000010 .000
   Brandon Gomes, P0000000 .000
   Jeff Beliveau, P0000000 .000
   b-Brandon Guyer, PH1000012 .125
   Erik Bedard, P0000000 .000
   c-Matt Joyce, PH-RF1000100 .355
Sean Rodriguez, 1B1100112 .182
   d-James Loney, PH-1B2110001 .200
a-walked for Lueke in the 9th
b-struck out for Beliveau in the 5th
c-fouled out for Bedard in the 7th
d-doubled for S. Rodriguez in the 7th
2B - James Loney (3, Christiani)
HR - Ben Zobrist 2 (3, Cingrani)
RBI - Ben Zobrist 4 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Ben Zobrist 2 (2)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Escobar-Hanigan-Forsythe-S. Rodriguez
E - Wil Myers (1, Throwing)
Tampa Bay Rays
Cesar Ramos (L,0-1) 2344311 7.50
Brandon Gomes 1433111 5.79
Jeff Beliveau 1000000 0.00
Erik Bedard 2210100 0.00
Heath Bell 1322110 5.40
Josh Lueke 1122111 6.35
IBB - Bruce by Josh Lueke
HBP - Votto (by Heath Bell)
Pitches-Strikes - Cesar Ramos 47-24, Brandon Gomes 29-19, Jeff Beliveau 9-6, Erik Bedard 37-24, Heath Bell 42-25, Josh Lueke 24-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cesar Ramos 1-3, Brandon Gomes 1-1, Erik Bedard 2-4, Heath Bell 1-1, Josh Lueke 1-1
Batters Faced - Cesar Ramos 11, Brandon Gomes 8, Jeff Beliveau 3, Erik Bedard 9, Heath Bell 8, Josh Lueke 5
Cincinnati Reds
Billy Hamilton, CF5110005 .154
Joey Votto, 1B4212010 .262
Brandon Phillips, 2B5030000 .327
Todd Frazier, 3B5200003 .227
Jay Bruce, RF1410400 .179
Ryan Ludwick, LF3110113 .257
   Sam LeCure, P0000000 .000
   a-Chris Heisey, PH1114000 .333
   Curtis Partch, P0000000 .000
Devin Mesoraco, C3124110 .500
Zack Cozart, SS4022103 .114
Tony Cingrani, P3010003 .333
   Nick Christiani, P0000000 .000
   b-Roger Bernadina, PH-LF1000013 .077
a-homered for LeCure in the 8th
b-struck out for Christiani in the 7th
2B - Jay Bruce (1, Bedard), Zack Cozart (2, Ramos)
HR - Joey Votto (2, Ramos), Chris Heisey (1, Lueke), Devin Mesoraco (2, Gomes)
SF - Devin Mesoraco (1)
RBI - Joey Votto 2 (4), Chris Heisey 4 (5), Devin Mesoraco 4 (6), Zack Cozart 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Devin Mesoraco 3 (5)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Cozart-B. Phillips-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
Tony Cingrani (W,1-1) 6.1522361 2.60
Nick Christiani 0.2222011 3.38
Sam LeCure 1000100 0.00
Curtis Partch 1000210 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Tony Cingrani 97-58, Nick Christiani 15-12, Sam LeCure 14-8, Curtis Partch 25-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tony Cingrani 6-6, Nick Christiani 1-0, Sam LeCure 1-2, Curtis Partch 1-1
Batters Faced - Tony Cingrani 26, Nick Christiani 4, Sam LeCure 4, Curtis Partch 5
Game Information
Attendance - 34307
Game Time - 3:41
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Dan Bellino, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - D.J. Reyburn, Third Base - Tim Welke