By HAL McCOY
Losing Zack Cozart is not a good thing for the Cincinnati Reds. But getting Scooter Gennett more playing time is not a bad thing.
And that’s the way it played out Monday night when the Reds expunged a nine-game losing streak with a 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field.
Cozart was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a quad injury before Monday’s game, meaning Gennett takes over at second base and Jose Peraza moves from second base to Cozart’s shortstop position.
IN ADDITION, THE REDS called up Jesse Winker, put him in the lineup as the designated hitter and that, too, played big in the victory.
Gennett hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning to give the Reds a 3-0 lead. It was Gennett’s ninth home run in only 145 at bats. And over the next 10 days, at least, he will get a lot more at bats. In addition, he has nine doubles and 37 RBI, the same amount as regular right fielder and just 15 fewer than club leader Joey Votto, who has played every game this season.
THE RAYS CAME BACK to tie it, 3-3, in the seventh when relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen gave up a two-run home run to Daniel Robertson.
The tie lasted only long enough for Gennett to open the eighth with a double to ignite a three-run rally.
He scored on Joey Votto’s single, one of three Votto hits, and later in the inning Winker, who had popped up three straight times, drilled a two-run single to right.
REDS STARTER SCOTT FELDMAN was on his best behavior Monday night. Through six innings he gave up only one run, a home run to Steven Souza Jr., and five hits while walking one and striking out six.
But with the Reds leading 3-1 in the seventh, Feldman gave up a leadoff single to Tyler Plouffe.
Manager Bryan Price decided to quickly go to Lorenzen, who had not given up an inherited run all season.
But his third pitch to Robertson was a 423-foot rockets red glare blast over the center field wall to tie it, 3-3.
The Reds added a seventh run when Joey Votto scored from second base on a wild pitch because he was running on a 3-and-2 ball four pitch to Scott Schebler.
LORENZEN WAS CHARGED with a blown save, but was credited with the victory when the Reds scored three in the eighth.
Lorenzen pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and Raisel Iglesias finished it off in the ninth.
In addition to Cozart’s trip to the disabled list, pitcher Bronson Arroyo was placed on the DL with shoulder issues and his future remains an almost certainty that he won’t pitch again. To replace Arroyo the Reds recalled pitcher Ariel Hernandez from Class AA Pensacola.