Moustakas hits 200 home runs, Reds complete Rays sweep

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Cincinnati Reds’ Tyler Stephenson hits a two-run homer in the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Cincinnati on Sunday, July 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

PA

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 on Sunday for a three-game sweep.

Moustakas scored 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.

“Having 200 major league homers is pretty special,” the three-time All-Star said. “It took longer than I thought to get there. To have done it is a pretty amazing feeling. You want to get rid of it to keep going. I started to struggle for a minute, but I feel pretty good for a few games.

The sweep allowed the Reds to end their homestand with a 6-5 record.

“It’s important,” manager David Bell said. “We played against some really good teams. That home position was important. We had a winning record. More importantly is how we went about it. Our team got healthier and improved. “We have a long way to go. A lot of good things have happened. It was an exciting day with Moose hitting 200 homers.”

The Reds opened the series with back-to-back 10 innings, including Friday night’s game which ended in a loss. Cincinnati escaped early in the conclusion, scoring seven times in third rookie Shane Baz (1-2).

“I felt good,” Baz said. “I just made some bad throws. I fell behind, and too many (grounds) grabbed the heart of the plate. That’s what happens. I had many opportunities to go out. I did a poor job of damage control.

Rookie southpaw Nick Lodolo (2-2) was the beneficiary of the shootout. In his second start since coming off the disabled list and fifth overall, Cincinnati’s top draft pick of 2019 allowed nine hits and three runs through five innings, striking out six.

Randy Arozarena, Josh Lowe and Rene Pinto scored for the Rays.

Tyler Naquin added a two-point brace for the Reds.

The Reds rocked Baz for eight hits and seven runs in 2 1/3 innings. The right-hander had allowed three combined runs in 22 1/3 innings in his previous four starts.

“They made some good adjustments,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “It wasn’t a strike call. They have pitches to hit. They did a lot of damage in a short time. Give them credit. They did a good job bringing balls home.

After going 5-6 on the road, Tampa Bay returns home for a seven-game home game starting Monday with the first of four against Boston.

“We have a good group of guys,” Baz said. “I think we will bounce back, especially coming home.”

“We need to dump it fast,” Cash said.

I GOT YOU

RF Naquin missed Taylor Walls’ hit, prompting Walls to ponder second place. But Naquin sent off Walls as he came back first to finish the third set.

INTERLEAGUE FALL

The Rays slipped to 10-6 in the interleague with their fifth straight loss after opening the season with 10 wins in their first 11 games against NL teams.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: SS Wander Franco (right wrist discomfort) and CF Kevin Kiermaier (left hip inflammation) were placed on the 10-day disabled list. … LHP Jeffrey Springs (lower right leg tightness) went on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Thursday.

Reds: Sunday’s game was the seventh straight miss for 1B Joey Votto (lower back strain).

NEXT

Rays: The starting pitcher was yet to be determined for Monday’s home opener against the Red Sox.

Reds: Rookie RHP Graham Ashcraft, Tuesday’s starter at Yankee Stadium, went 2-13 innings in his last start Wednesday against the Mets, the shortest outing of his nine outings.

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