Moustakas reaches 200 homers, Reds finish sweep of Rays
CINCINNATI (AP) — Mike Moustakas, Tyler Stephenson and Jonathan India each hit a two-run homer in the third inning and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Tampa Bay Rays 10-5 Sunday for a three-game sweep.
Moustakas connected for his 200th career homer as the Reds posted their first four-game winning streak since May 25-28. It was his first home run since May 13 and fourth of the season.
“To have 200 home runs in the big leagues is pretty special,” the three-time All-Star said. “It took longer than I thought to get there. Having done it is a pretty amazing feeling. You want to get it out of the way to keep going. I started struggling pretty bad for a minute, but I’ve been feeling pretty good the last few games.”
The sweep allowed the Reds to finish their homestand with a 6-5 record.
“It is important,” manager David Bell said. “We played some pretty good teams. This whole home stand was important. We had a winning record. More importantly it’s the way we went about it. Our team has gotten healthier and gotten better. We have a long way to go. A lot of good things happened. It was an exciting day with Moose getting to 200 home runs.”
The Reds opened the series with back-to-back, 10-inning wins, including Friday night’s game that ended on a balk. Cincinnati broke away early in the wrapup, scoring seven times in the third off rookie Shane Baz (1-2).
“I felt fine,” Baz said. “I just made some bad pitches. I fell behind, and too many (pitches) caught the heart of the plate. That’s what happens. I had lots of chances to get outs. I did a bad job of damage control.”
Rookie left-hander Nick Lodolo (2-2) was the beneficiary of the homer barrage. In his second start since coming off the injured list and fifth overall, Cincinnati’s top 2019 draft pick allowed nine hits and three runs in five innings, striking out six.
Randy Arozarena, Josh Lowe and René Pinto homered for the Rays.
Tyler Naquin added a two-run double for the Reds.
The Reds rocked Baz for eight hits and seven runs in 2 1/3 innings. The right-hander had allowed a combined three runs in 22 1/3 innings over his previous four starts.
“They made good adjustments,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “It wasn’t strike throwing. They got pitches to hit. They did a great amount of damage in a short amount of time. Give them credit. They did a good job barreling up some balls.”
After going 5-6 on the road, Tampa Bay heads home for a seven-game home stand starting on Monday with the first of four against Boston.
“We’ve got a good group of guys,” Baz said. “I think we’ll bounce back, especially getting home.”
“We’ve got to flush it quick,” Cash said.
RF Naquin bobbled Taylor Walls’ base hit, prompting Walls to ponder trying for second. But Naquin threw Walls out as scrambled back to first to end the third inning.
The Rays slipped to 10-6 in interleague play with their fifth straight loss after opening the season with 10 wins in their first 11 games against NL teams.
Rays: SS Wander Franco (right wrist discomfort) and CF Kevin Kiermaier (left hip inflammation) were placed on the 10-day injured list. … LHP Jeffrey Springs (right lower leg tightness) went on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to Thursday.
Reds: Sunday’s game was the seventh straight missed by 1B Joey Votto (lower back tightness).
Rays: The starting pitcher remained to be determined for Monday’s series-opener at home against the Red Sox.
Reds: Rookie RHP Graham Ashcraft, Tuesday’s starter at Yankee Stadium, lasted 2-13 innings in his last start on Wednesday against the Mets, the shortest outing of his nine outings.
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