Rays fall to Reds 12-4 as the bullpen falters

It was that kind of day for the Rays - Andy Lyons

In a game that featured middle relievers galore pitching for the Rays, the Reds came out on top

Cesar Ramos turned in a disastrous start for the Rays as they fell to the Reds 12-4 on Sunday in Cincinnati. Ramos was charged with four earned runs while only getting six outs in two plus innings of work. The Rays' bullpen was not better-allowing eight runs after Ramos departed in the third inning.

Tony Cingrani was sharp, pitching six and a third innings while allowing only two runs on a home run by Ben Zobrist.

Ramos pitched a sharp first inning, striking out Joey Votto, before running into some trouble in the second inning. He issued three consecutive walks, a sequence that included a stretch where Ramos threw ten balls in eleven pitches. A ground rule double by Zack Cozart scored two of the baserunners before another Reds baserunning gaffe ended the inning. Reds' pitcher Cingrani grounded into a fielder's choice to shortstop Yunel Escobar who threw out Reds' catcher Devin Mesoraco at home. Cingrani attempted to move up to second on the throw but was caught in a rundown. First baseman Sean Rodriguez threw home to Ryan Hanigan, getting Cozart, who started the play at second base.

Cingrani gave the runs back in the top of the third after retiring the first eight batters he faced. Rodriguez, batting ninth, walked with two outs before Zobrist evened the score at 2-2 on a home run to left.

The tie would not last another inning however.

Ramos allowed a single to Billy Hamilton to lead off the bottom of the third but before he got the opportunity to steal a base, Votto hit a 452-foot blast of a home run to right center. The Votto home run signaled the end of Ramos's start, bringing on Brandon Gomes. Gomes immediately gave up a single, and, following a fielder's choice, walked Jay Bruce. After striking out Ryan Ludwick, Gomes surrendered a three run shot to upper deck in left to Mesoraco. Cozart and Cingrani singled off of Gomes before he got Hamilton to fly out to end the inning.

Jeff Beliveau pitched the only clean inning of relief in the bottom of the fourth for the Rays.

The Rays threatened in the top of the fifth inning, with Escobar singling his way on and Hanigan walking with no outs. Guyer, pinch hitting for Beliveau, and Rodriguez struck out swinging before Zobrist ended the inning with a groundout.

The Reds added a run in the bottom of the fifth off of Erik Bedard. The inning opened with a Bruce double followed by an error on Wil Myers on a short throw back to the infield that bounced away from Escobar, allowing Bruce to move to third. A sacrifice fly by Mesoraco scored the run.

The Rays again threatened in the top of the sixth, loading the bases with two outs before Hanigan popped out to first to end the threat.

Bedard escaped the the bottom of the sixth only allowing a single to Brandon Philips.

The Rays added two runs in the top of the seventh. James Loney, pinch hitting for Rodriguez, doubled to right field. Zobrist brought him home with a two run shot to right against Nick Christiani, his second home run of the game- one each from the right and left sides of the plate.

Heath Bell pitched the bottom of the seventh for the Rays, throwing 32 pitches allowing two hits and walk before getting an out at home, a strikeout and a fly ball to end the inning without allowing a run. Bell started the eighth for the Rays, hitting Joey Votto and yielding a single to Brandon Philips before being replaced by Josh Lueke. Lueke got a fielder's choice that moved the runners over to second and third before intentionally walking Jay Bruce to bring up pitcher Sam LeCure. Chris Heisey, pinch hitting for LeCure, hit a grand slam off Lueke to make the score 12-4 in favor of Cincinnati.

Curtis Partch finished the game for the Reds, walking Matt Joyce and pinch hitter David DeJesus before getting Longoria to ground out to end the game.

Notes

-Sean Rodriguez snatched a foul ball from a fan, who was reaching into foul territory for the ball in the bottom of the fourth. Rodriguez then stared the fan down before walking back over to first base. His face was priceless as he stared at the fan.

-Zobrist homered twice, giving him four career multihomer games.

-The Reds entered today's game having scored only 28 runs on the season. They scored 12 today representing 30% of their season total.

-The Rays are back in action tomorrow against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. Chris Archer will take the mound for the Rays and will be opposed by Wei-Yin Chen of the Orioles.

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