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Reds 12, Rays 4

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- Pinch-hitter Chris Heisey's first career grand slam was one of three home runs hit Sunday by Cincinnati, and left-hander Tony Cingrani pitched six strong innings, lifting the Reds to a 12-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the finale of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.

First baseman Joey Votto hit a two-run home run and catcher Devin Mesoraco added a three-run shot and had a career-high four RBIs as Cincinnati (4-8) avoided being swept by the Rays.

Cingrani (1-1) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings, the 21st consecutive start in which he's allowed five or fewer hits.

Rays left fielder Ben Zobrist homered from both sides of the plate for the first time in his career for Tampa Bay (7-6). Zobrist went 2-for-5 with four RBIs.

Rays starter Cesar Ramos, who was filling Matt Moore's spot in the starting rotation while the left-hander recovers from a sore left elbow, planned to throw around 70 pitches. But he reached 35 by the second inning.

In the second inning, Ramos loaded the bases on three walks. Shortstop Zack Cozart made him pay with an opposite-field ground-rule double giving Cincinnati a 2-0 lead.

The inning ended with the Reds having two runners thrown out at the plate during a wild 6-2-4-3-2 double play beginning with a Cingrani ground ball to shortstop Yunel Escobar.

Rays manager Joe Maddon's decision to bat first baseman Sean Rodriguez in the ninth position paid off in the third when he walked and scored on Zobrist's two-out, two-run homer to left to tie the score at 2-2.

Votto untied the score in the bottom half with a two-out, two-run home run, which sailed 452 feet to center.

Ramos (0-1) allowed four runs and three hits in two-plus innings.

Later in the third, Mesoraco hit a three-run home run on an 0-2 pitch from Rays right-hander Brandon Gomes to make the score 7-2. Gomes allowed three runs on four hits in one inning of work.

Mesoraco's sacrifice fly put Cincinnati ahead 8-2 in the fifth.

Tampa Bay loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth. But catcher Ryan Hanigan popped out to Votto to end the inning and one of few scoring threats for the Rays on Sunday.

NOTES: Ramos batted eighth on Sunday. "The way he's been stretched out, we don't expect him to pitch deep into the game. By hitting him in the eighth hole, we can make that decision sooner," Maddon explained before the game. ... A MRI revealed that Reds RHP Mat Latos has a flexor mass strain further delaying his rehab from elbow surgery. Latos will be shut down for 10-14 days before he resumes throwing. ... Rays RHP Alex Cobb, who pitched seven shutout innings on Saturday, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain. LHP Jeff Beliveau was recalled from Triple-A Durham. Beliveau pitched one scoreless inning on Sunday. ... Third base umpire Tim Welke worked his 4,000th career game on Sunday.

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