By JEFF WALLNER
CINCINNATI — TJ Friedl drove in four runs, and Cincinnati beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-1 on Monday night after Reds right-hander Hunter Greene departed with a leg injury.
Kevin Newman homered for Cincinnati, and Nick Senzel scored two runs. The Reds won the opener of the three-game interleague series after losing 14-3 to Philadelphia on Sunday.
Tampa Bay lost for the third time in four games since its 13-0 start. Josh Lowe homered for the Rays, and Randy Arozarena and Harold Ramírez each had two hits.
“Our timely hits weren’t there tonight,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “When they got guys on base, they found hits and we didn’t.”
Greene surrendered a leadoff double in the third before he was struck by Yandy Díaz’s comebacker. The 23-year-old right-hander stayed in after he was evaluated by a trainer and tossed a few warmup pitches.
But Greene, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 amateur draft, departed after the inning. He averaged 96.8 mph for 21 fastballs, down from a season average of 99.5 mph.
“He looked fine after throwing a few more pitches,” Reds manager David Bell said. “I saw him in between innings and he was limping really bad. At that point, we made the decision. With these types of contusions, you have to really stay on top of it. But the goal as of right now is to have him make his next start.”
Greene, who started on opening day, was diagnosed with a right tibia contusion. X-rays were negative.
“It’s super tight,” Greene said. “I wanted to finish that inning. I knew I could finish it. As soon as I came in it tightened up right away. It would have been foolish to go back out and just use my arm. I’m just happy the X-ray was negative.”
After Greene departed, Buck Farmer, Alex Young, Ian Gibaut (1-0) and Kevin Herget combined for six innings of five-hit ball. Lowe homered in the ninth against Herget for Tampa Bay’s only run in front of a crowd of just 7,375 at Great American Ball Park.
With starters Zach Eflin and Jeffrey Springs sidelined by injuries, the Rays used Jalen Beeks (0-1) as an opener. Beeks pitched three innings of one-run ball, surrendering Newman’s second homer in the second.
Friedl’s three-run double off Kevin Kelly made it 4-0 in the fourth, and Tyler Stephenson and Newman tacked on run-scoring singles in the seventh.
Tampa Bay loaded the bases in the sixth, but right fielder Jake Fraley made a diving grab on Manuel Margot’s looping liner for the final out of the inning.
“He’s worked hard to be an all-round player,” Bell said of Fraley. “He’s getting better defensively. Doing all the little things.”
The Rays went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine.
“(Fraley’s catch) was difficult to see, but it’s part of the game,” Margot said through a translator. “I feel like we left a lot of guys on base.”
Rays: OF Jose Siri (strained right hamstring) will likely need some at-bats in the minors before being activated, according to Cash. He’s eligible to come off the IL on Wed. … Eflin is expected to be activated on Sunday when he is eligible.
Reds: INF Spencer Steer left Sunday’s game with right knee soreness but an MRI did not show any damage. He is day to day. … RHP Lucas Sims (lower back) pitched back-to-back days for Triple-A Louisville and could be activated on Wednesday when eligible.
LHP Nick Lodolo (2-0, 2.12 ERA) starts for the Reds on Tuesday. The Rays haven’t announced their starter, but rookie RHP Taj Bradley could get the call.
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