You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Reds blast Rays with best offensive showing of season

Crippled by base-running blunders and squandered scoring chances the first two weeks of the season, the Cincinnati Reds offense finally found the fuse and detonated early and often Sunday afternoon against Tampa Bay.

Devin Mesoraco homered and drove in a career-high four runs and Chris Heisey launched his first career grand slam as the Reds routed the Rays 12-4 before a crowd of 34,307 at Great American Ball Park.

Joey Votto also homered and Jay Bruce doubled and drew a career-high four walks as the Reds recorded a season-high 13 hits to go along with the season-high 12 runs.

“It was just a matter of time,” said Reds starting pitcher Tony Cingrani (1-1), who was the beneficiary of the outburst, earning the win by allowing two runs on five hits over 6.1 innings.

“Winning is the name of the game, so a 2-1 win would have felt just as good,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “But going out there and scoring 12 runs and having a lot of good things come out of it was big.”

Limited to just one run in the first two games of the series – both losses – the Reds grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the second when Zack Cozart delivered a bases-loaded double off Tampa’s Cesar Ramos (0-1), a reliever who was making his first start of the season and just his second in his last 60 appearances in place of the injured Matt Moore.

Cingrani gave up a two-run homer to Ben Zobrist in the third to tie the score, but the Reds piled on from there, starting with Votto’s two-run homer that chased Ramos from the game in the bottom of the third and was followed by Mesoraco’s three-run bomb that made it 7-2.

“I feel comfortable and confident up there,” said Mesoraco, who is hitting .500 in four games since coming off the disabled list with an oblique injury.

He added a sacrifice fly in the fifth and singled in the sixth to finish 2 for 3.

“He has a much better approach,” Price said. “For a guy that’s got some power, he fights during his at-bats to put the ball in play. He’s a tough guy with two strikes. He’s going to punch out every now and then, but he does a tremendous job of battling his way through an at-bat. He fought off some great pitches today and then ended up coming up with the big three-run home run.”

The Rays got another two-run homer from Zobrist off reliever Nick Christiani in the seventh to make it 7-4, but after Tampa reliever Heath Bell intentionally walked Bruce to load the bases in the eighth, Heisey hit a pinch-hit grand slam that Price called “the icing on the cake.”

Brandon Phillips added three hits, Cozart had two and Bruce scored four runs to give the struggling offense a much-needed jolt.

“The key early in the season is not losing faith,” Price said. “To me, pressure is self-induced. So it’s a matter of keeping the faith. We understand that this is a good team. Everyone in there knows it. So the frustration becomes the biggest challenge for our club.

“It’s just a matter of going out there and understanding we’re going to play 162 games and we’re going to win a good bunch of games,” he added. “But we’d like to see guys start to relax and just be themselves and play the type of game we’re capable of playing. I think this is an indication that we’re getting closer to doing that.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Willie McCovey pardoned by president
Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Willie McCovey pardoned by president

Baseball Hall of Famer and All-Star slugger Willie Covey was one of 64 people pardoned by President Barack Obama this week, decades after conviction on tax evasion charges.
Another Bengals player added to Pro Bowl
Another Bengals player added to Pro Bowl

For the second time in as many days the Cincinnati Bengals have had a player added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster with today’s announcement that left tackle Andrew Whitworth will replace Oakland’s Donald Penn. Defensive tackle Carlos Dunlap was added as a replacement for Houston’s Jadeveon Clowney on Tuesday. Whitworth, who was a first...
6 numbers explain why the Cincinnati Bengals had a losing season
6 numbers explain why the Cincinnati Bengals had a losing season

The NFL’s playoffs are ongoing… and the Bengals are still not part of them. A few numbers can help us understand how Cincinnati was left out in 2016 after making five straight trips to the postseason, and a couple more give hints about what they might do about it. Later this week we will look at whether 2016 left them closer to playoff...
High School Wrestling: Graham, St. Ed duel to become ‘king of the state’
High School Wrestling: Graham, St. Ed duel to become ‘king of the state’

Before going after its fifth consecutive Ohio High School Athletic Association team title, the Graham wrestling team is looking to defend its claim as the top program in Ohio regardless of division. The Falcons welcome St. Edward at 7 p.m. Saturday in a dual between the top team in Division II (Graham) and Division I. St. Edward is ranked third and...
Dayton Flyers recruit becomes school’s all-time leading scorer
Dayton Flyers recruit becomes school’s all-time leading scorer

McKinley Wright, one of the four players in Dayton’s 2017 recruiting class, became Champlin Park (Minn.) High School’s all-time leading scorer Tuesday. Wright, a 6-foot point guard, scored 22 points in a victory over Elk River. With his 1,392nd point, he passed Champlin Park alum J.T. Gibson. Wright is the second UD recruit in the class...
More Stories