Hamilton creates runs for Cueto

I will have everything on Johnny Cueto’s fantastic three-hit shutout for a 4-0 Reds win over the Pirates on MLB.com. Please check it out by clicking here.

There were some other things that helped key the win, including in the first inning and the seventh. Both involved Billy Hamilton. After he drew a leadoff walk, Hamilton was halfway to second base as Francisco Liriano pitched to Joey Votto. Before you knew it, Liriano had two walks and two wild pitches, the latter to Brandon Phillips scoring Hamilton for a 1-0 lead.

In the seventh, Hamilton reached on a fielder’s choice. With two outs and Votto batting, Liriano was forced to slide-step on the mound to hold Hamilton. He missed with a 0-1 pitch over the plate and Votto hit a two-run homer that effectively put the game away.

“We put some pressure on Liriano in front of Votto and Joey was able to take advantage of a pitch up in the zone and hit it out. That was a big cushion there,” Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Other items of note:

*Price was pretty pleased with the win, especially the Reds’ first series win.

“All the way around, it was a great game,” he said. “I don’t know how many different ways to say it. It set a tone for us to play a good team at home and win a series, especially after losing that tough first game. To come back and win the next two was big. We need to string wins together. We need to start to win series. It’s important. Treading water and being 5-10 after five series just doesn’t show the signs we want of turning things around. This series did.”

*Cueto was called out for interference, not once but twice, while bunting. The first time in the second inning, Cueto tried to sacrifice but ran out of the box too quickly and touched the ball. In the fifth, he stayed in the box as he bounced one in front of the plate but was in the catcher’s way. Both times, he putout is credited as “2 unassisted.”

*In the seventh, Cueto swung away and hit a clean one-out single to center field.

*Pirates LF Jose Tabata suffered “concussion-like symptoms” from colliding with the left field wall to make a great catch against Brayan Pena for the first out in the Reds’ fifth inning. Tabata needed to be looked at by the trainer for several moments before being walked off of the field.

*Funny moment ended the top of the sixth inning. After Andrew McCutchen swung and struck out on a Cueto pitch in the dirt, he did not run to first base. When catcher Brayan Pena picked up the ball, McCutchen put out a fist bump to the ball for the tag and third out.

*Hamilton had two stolen bases on the afternoon. It was his second two-steal game of the season and fourth of his brief career.

1 Comment

I’ve been a little rough on Hamilton and I still believe he has some work to do on hitting left handed and bunting.
What he did today is pretty much all he has to do to really be an asset to the Reds offense each game.
His goal is to just get on base and disrupt the pitcher….maybe get a hit now and then.
I think he’ll improve in May, June, and July.

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