Rays hit four home runs, pummel Reds

CINCINNATI — Taylor Walls homered twice and drove in four runs and rookie right-hander Taj Bradley dazzled in his second start as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Cincinnati Reds 10-0 on Tuesday night.

Yandy Diaz hit a three-run homer, and Randy Arozarena also went deep as the Rays handed Reds lefty Nick Lodolo his first loss of the season.

“It’s been a while since the offense has really been awake,” Diaz said through an interpreter. “We were able to connect on some of those hits and it was good.”

The Rays have homered in each of their first 18 games this season, the second-longest home run streak to begin a campaign since the 2019 Mariners went deep in 20 straight games.

“Everybody played a big role,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “And we did it against a good pitcher. (Lodolo) is a talented guy. We didn’t help him out expanding on the breaking ball. We made him throw the fastball over the middle of the plate.”

The 22-year-old Bradley (2-0) was sensational again, striking out nine and walking one in 5 1/3 innings.

“I felt more relaxed,” Bradley said. “Run support adds to the relaxation. Every pitch felt good. Four-pitch mix. I feel like I’ve had a good changeup and recently got the curveball.”

Bradley’s 17 combined strikeouts in his first two career starts are the most for a Rays pitcher, surpassing Andy Sonnanstine’s previous club record of 15 strikeouts in 2007.

“Another outing where he’s pitching with a lot of confidence,” Cash said. “He might have had better stuff, the slider looked really good. When you’re building off you’re debut, and to do it again, it is impressive.”

Walls, who went 4 for 5, started the scoring with a solo homer in the second. Four batters later, Diaz launched his fifth homer of the season with two aboard to put the Rays up 4-0.

“When I hit it, I didn’t look at where it went,” said Diaz, of his upper-deck blast to left. “When I got back to the dugout they told me where it landed.”

Walls’ two-run triple in his second at-bat made the score 6-0. He went deep off rookie Casey Legumina in the sixth for the first multi-homer game of his career.

“I’m barely getting these balls over, so I wouldn’t call it power,” Walls said, smiling. “I just happen to pull them to the right side of the ballfield. That’s definitely not my game.”

Lodolo (2-1) allowed four earned runs combined in his first three starts, but gave up eight on Tuesday.

“He didn’t have a good feel for his breaking ball from what I could tell,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He doesn’t have a ton of experience in this league. We’ve seen him be very good. There’s no reason to believe he won’t come back from this.”

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