CINCINNATI — One reason the Rays placed Alex Cobb on the disabled list Sunday before he underwent an MRI on his left oblique was so they could use the roster spot for another reliever.
With Cesar Ramos coming out of the bullpen to take Matt Moore’s spot in the rotation, the Rays wanted as many arms available in case of an even shorter outing from the left-hander, who was expected to pitch no more than four innings against the Reds.
“There’s always the threat for a goofy game and you don’t want to blow up your bullpen for several days,” manager Joe Maddon said.
Turns out, it got blown up anyway in the Rays’ 12-4 loss.
Ramos pitched into the third inning and Maddon needed five relievers to finish the game. The only one who didn’t allow a hit was Jeff Beliveau, who was called up Sunday morning from Triple-A Durham and sent back after the game.
“It was one of those days, man. You just file it and move on,” Maddon said. “This is definitely even less than the 30-minute rule (to feel bad about a loss). This is like the 30-second rule. Just drop it and move on.”
The Reds, off to their worst start to a season since 1995, held a team meeting after Saturday’s 1-0 loss. They responded with a 13-hit attack that included three home runs.
Joey Votto chased Ramos in the third inning with a two-run homer off the batter’s eye in center field that traveled 452 feet.
“I felt good the first inning, fell apart a little bit in the second. I came out in the third, they jumped on the first strike I threw and things felt apart quick,” Ramos said.
Ramos, who wanted an opportunity this season to start, was disappointed to get only six outs in his first opportunity.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “You always want to go out there and step in and give us a chance to win. I kind of didn’t do a very good job of that.”
Maddon said he wasn’t sure if Ramos would make his next scheduled start, which would be Friday against the Yankees at Tropicana Field.
“We’ll decide that,” Maddon said. “But I can’t say yes or no yet.”
Maddon said the Rays would have to call up a starter from Durham if they decide not to pitch Ramos on Friday.
Left-hander Mike Montgomery could be the candidate after allowing one run and striking out 12 in his first 10 innings this season.
Devin Mesoraco hit a three-run homer later in the third off Brandon Gomes that landed in the upper deck in left field, 443 feet from home plate.
Ben Zobrist supplied the Rays’ offense with a pair of two-run homers — one batting right-handed and one batting left-handed. He joined Willy Aybar and Geoff Blum as the only Rays to homer from the both sides of the plate in the same game.
With the Rays trailing 8-4 in the eighth, Josh Lueke was instructed to walk Jay Bruce to load the bases and pitch to pinch-hitter Chris Heisey. Heisey hit a grand slam to right to ice the game.
“They hit a three-run homer and a four-run homer,” Maddon said. “It’s hard to beat those.”