The game began as a pitching duel between the Reds' Scott Feldman and the Rays' Jake Odorizzi. Each of the starters logged four scoreless innings before Scott Schebler led off the fifth with his 19th home run of the season on a 3-2 fastball from Odorizzi. The barreled ball traveled 407 feet to right field and had an exit velocity of 103.8 mph, with a 31-degree launch angle, according to Statcast™.
Scooter Gennett added a two-run homer in the sixth on a 2-0 fastball from Odorizzi. The opposite-field barreled ball traveled 404 feet to right field with an exit velocity of 101.3 mph and a 28-degree launch angle. The blast put the Reds up 3-0.
"I think we're proving that guys on our team are growing into everyday ballplayers; guys that can compete and help a team win," Votto said. "You're seeing our lineup stretch where you get through the middle of the order and it feels like there is more, and not very many easy at-bats as the order moves along. I think that's a great thing."
Steven Souza Jr. got the Rays on the board in the sixth with his 14th home run of the season, off Feldman. The long ball hit the C-ring catwalk. According to Tropicana Field ground rules, any fair ball striking the C or D catwalks is a home run. Souza's homer had an exit velocity of 104.4 mph with a 36-degree launch angle and, according to the Statcast™ estimate, would have traveled 397 feet.
Daniel Robertson kept the home-run parade rolling with a two-run knock in the seventh off Michael Lorenzen. Like the previous three home runs in the game, Robertson's 423-foot shot to center field was a barreled ball. This one had a 103.4-mph exit velocity with a 28-degree launch angle, and tied the game at 3.
"Last week or so, I made a couple of adjustments, so I'm feeling good," said Robertson, who has eight RBIs in his last five games compared to eight RBIs in his first 48. "The offense was a little slow to start tonight, so the homer was big to pick us up. Honestly, [I was] just trying to see the ball in that situation. I just told myself to hand it to the next guy and kind of keep the rally going. I was able to get a pitch with two strikes to my liking and put a good swing on it."
Feldman and Odorizzi gave their teams quality starts, but each came away with a no-decision.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Gennett's homecoming: Gennett has been red-hot lately. Entering Monday night's game, he was hitting .343 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in his previous 10 games -- including a four-homer game. Monday brought a homecoming for the Reds second baseman, who was born in Cincinnati and lived in nearby Lebanon until he was 9 years old, when his family moved to Sarasota, less than a 30-minute drive from Tropicana Field. So friends and family were able to watch when his two-run homer in the sixth gave the Reds a 3-0 lead.
"It's definitely good. Last time I was here, I think I went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a ground ball back to the pitcher," Gennett said. "It's definitely nice to have a decent game in front of the family."
Winker steps up: The Reds promoted Winker from Triple-A Louisville on Monday to replace injured shortstop Zack Cozart. Winker was 9-for-16 in his previous four games for the Bats. He continued that kind of hitting Monday, when the Rays intentionally walked Scott Schebler with one out in the eighth to load the bases for Winker, who delivered a two-run single to right to put the Reds up three, essentially putting the game on ice.
"Any way I can contribute, I'm going to try," Winker said. "I happened to come up with bases loaded and I got sick and tired of popping the ball up. [I] just tried to hit the ball hard, find a hole and we scored two runs. Just to come up and contribute any way I can, that's what I'm looking for."
QUOTABLE "Good to see [Odorizzi] bounce back. He did a nice job. I know he gave up the two homers, but that's all he gave up. I thought his approach was really good today; attacking the strike zone. Kind of lost it there for one inning a little bit, but overcame it. I thought he was really good, efficient, up in the zone quite a bit. And got a lot of fly outs. Kind of his strength to pitching." -- Rays manager Kevin Cash
"We came back in the eighth against a kid throwing left-handed, throwing 100 and go double and single to take the lead and end up tacking on a couple more. which was really a big difference-maker. It feels really good to come back and win that ballgame." -- Reds manager Bryan Price
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Odorizzi extended his streak of consecutive starts with a home run allowed to 10. He has yielded home runs in 18 of his last 19 starts. His only start without allowing a home run during that stretch came on April 15 at Boston, when he exited the start after one inning pitched with a left hamstring strain. Of the 37 runs that Odorizzi has given up this season, 27 have come via home runs (73 percent).
UPON FURTHER REVIEW The Rays challenged a tag play in the top of the sixth when Billy Hamilton was called safe diving back to first after Odorizzi attempted to pick him off. Following a 1 minute, 38 second delay, the call stood.
WHAT'S NEXT Reds:Amir Garrett will return to the mound when the series continues at 7:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday. The rookie lefty (3-5, 6.91 ERA) worked a quality start on Wednesday at San Diego but got a no-decision. He allowed two earned runs and seven hits over six innings with eight strikeouts.
Rays:Alex Cobb (5-5, 4.17) pitches on normal rest following a season-high pitch count of 116 against Detroit. In his last two starts, both of which came with an extra day of rest, he threw a total of 12 2/3 innings while allowing three earned runs. He'll face the Reds for the second time in his career.