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hongwei28 Offline
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Billy Hamilton is well aware of his struggles at the plate. The Cincinnati Reds centerfielder has tried to stay positive even as his average and his spot in the batting order dropped at an alarming rate Bryan Bulaga Jersey , trying to focus on being a more complete player until his swing returned.

For the first time in a while – far too long for Hamilton’s liking – everything that makes him so effective was on full display Sunday against Pittsburgh. Hamilton went 3 for 4, stole two bases, scored three times and made a pair of vital defensive plays as the Reds held on for an 8-6 victory on Sunday.

Hamilton started the day with a diving grab on the warning track in right-center to rob Pittsburgh’s Francisco Cervelli of extra bases in the first. He ended it by starting the sequence that cut down the potential game-tying run at the plate in the eighth then trotting home in the ninth after Scott Schebler’s two-run shot gave Cincinnati a little extra breathing room.

”Oh my goodness, that’s the best part (is the hitting),” Hamilton said after boosting his average .197. ”I ain’t worried about the catch. The catch is good, but I’m just worried about what I did at the plate. Especially for me, I’ve been struggling, man. Just to have one of these days, it gives you a bunch of confidence and clears your head a little bit.”

Eugenio Suarez homered in the second straight game and Joey Votto celebrated his 1,500th major league contest by going 2 for 4 with two RBIs for the Reds. Schebler added three RBIs for Cincinnati, which won for just the second time in seven tries at PNC Park this season.

Anthony DeSclafani (2-1) surrendered solo home runs to Colin Moran and Gregory Polanco but otherwise kept the Pirates in check to pick up his second victory since his return after missing the entire 2017 season with right elbow issues. DeSclafani struck out four against three hits and a strikeout in 5 2/3 innings and more than once caught himself marveling at Hamilton.

”It’s unbelievable what he can do out there Dave Robinson Jersey , man,” DeSclafani said. ”He saves pitchers all the time and he’s just fun to watch out there. It’s like video game stuff. It’s unbelievable.”

Raisel Iglesias allowed an inherited runner to score in the eighth and an RBI-single to Austin Meadows in the ninth but managed to record the final four outs for his 10th save, receiving a bit of help in the process. Iglesias entered with two on and two outs in the eighth and immediately surrendered a double in the gap to Polanco.

Corey Dickerson scored to pull the Pirates within one but Josh Bell was out at home trying to score all the way from first after Hamilton raced to the ball and quickly got it to shortstop Jose Peraza, who fired a strike to home.

The call stood upon review after the Pirates challenged Cincinnati catcher Curt Casali may have illegally blocked the plate.

”I was just thinking head-first slide before he caught it so it was just too late for me to redirect or think anything else at that point,” Bell said, who added he thought Casali ”100 percent” gave him a lane to slide.

SLUMP BUSTED?

Like Hamilton, Polanco has been mired in an extended slump. The Pirates moved him to seventh in the lineup and there are signs he’s on the verge of snapping out of it after going 3 for 3, including his ninth home run of the season.

”Right now I am not thinking about anything, just seeing the ball and hit it,” Polanco said after boosting his average to .211. ”Because my swing the last couple days has been good. I’m not thinking now, I’m just swinging now. And when you’re not thinking your swing is good. So you just want to continue to keep seeing the pitches that you want to hit.”

MUSGROVE MUZZLED

Joe Musgrove (2-2) had been impressive in his first four starts for the Pirates after starting the year on the disabled list with right-shoulder problems but the Reds jumped on him the second time through the lineup. Cincinnati scored two runs in the fourth Ryan Jensen Color Rush Jersey , fifth and sixth and finished 4 for 9 with runners in scoring position after going 0 for 19 in the same situation over the first two games of the series, both losses.

Musgrove was charged with six runs in 4 1/3 innings with a walk and six strikeouts as his ERA jumped from 2.16 to 3.68.

”That’s my first day game in a while,” Musgrove said after temperatures soared into the upper 80s. ”Just trying to get my body alert. It was hot out there. I felt drained.”

UP NEXT

Reds: off Monday then host Detroit in a brief two-game interleague series starting Tuesday when Sal Romano (3-7, 5.67 ERA) faces Matthew Boyd (4-4, 3.23).

Pirates: Welcome Milwaukee to PNC Park for the first time this season when the Brewers come in for a three-game set starting Monday. Trevor Williams (5-4, 4.38 ERA) faces Jhoulys Chacin (6-1, 3.32) in the opener.



Kyle Freeland has a silhouette of a mountain range tattooed along his right arm.

So, no, the Denver native doesn’t mind pitching in a little thin air.

Freeland elevated his game once again at Coors Field and the Colorado Rockies scored the go-ahead run in the seventh on a throwing error by shortstop Brandon Crawford to rally for a 5-2 win over the San Francisco Giants on Monday night.

Freeland (8-6) settled in to go seven strong innings after surrendering a homer to Gorkys Hernandez on the first pitch of the game.

That mistake hardly weighed on him.

”There were a lot more pitches to be thrown,” said Freeland, who allowed three hits. ”You have to have faith in your offense they’ll come through for you.”

The left-hander hardly feels intimidated by the hitter’s park. Freeland has allowed three or fewer runs in all but one of his seven starts at Coors Field this season.

”To me Jack Mewhort Jersey , it’s still the game of baseball. You have to make your pitches,” Freeland said of his approach at Coors. ”If you don’t make your pitches, there’s a strong chance they’re going to get whacked – hard.”

Part of Freeland’s good groove of late has to do with the development of his changeup. He’s throwing it with confidence – and success.

”There is a poise factor that comes into play when you’re playing this game,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. ”He’s learning this at the highest level. … I love the day that Kyle pitches.”

Scott Oberg threw the eighth and Wade Davis worked his way around a one-out double by Buster Posey in the ninth for his 24th save. He struck out Crawford to end the game.

Madison Bumgarner (1-3) was cruising along until the seventh when he began to unravel. After allowing three straight singles, he was replaced by reliever Reyes Moronta, who walked Nolan Arenado and then allowed the tying run on a double play. Ian Desmond followed with a roller that Crawford gobbled up only to throw wide to first, allowing the tiebreaking run to score.

”Just didn’t throw it 100 percent. I gave it about an 80-percent throw,” Crawford explained. ”One-hopper, I had time.”

Pinch-hitter Tom Murphy added an insurance run in the eighth, with Charlie Blackmon bringing in another on a sacrifice fly. Arenado finished 2 for 3 with two walks.

Bumgarner ran his streak to 22 scoreless innings before it came to a halt in the seventh when he was charged with three runs, two earned. Before Monday Pat McAfee Jersey , the left-hander hadn’t allowed a run since June 16 in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.

”I don’t care about the streak. I’m just trying to win,” Bumgarner said. ”That’s a tough loss. Everything was going our way early on and didn’t go our way late. That’s all there is to it.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto (elbow) was schedule to throw a bullpen session Monday in Sacramento, while RHP Jeff Samardzija (shoulder) was slated to make a rehab start for Triple-A Sacramento. ”It’s a fairly big day in Sacramento,” manager Bruce Bochy cracked. ”Tomorrow, we’ll have a plan.”

Rockies: RHP Bryan Shaw (right calf strain) had a bullpen session Monday and ”threw the ball well,” Black said. Shaw will throw a simulated game Wednesday and may soon go out on a rehab assignment. … RHP Chad Bettis wore white tape on his middle finger after developing a hot spot during Sunday’s start. Bettis was pulled after three innings. ”We’re concerned about him for sure,” Black said.

GREAT GRABS

Austin Slater played a big role in keeping the Rockies off the scoreboard early by making a sliding catch in left field to end the third with the bases loaded. Slater also had a diving catch in the second.

UP NEXT

Giants: RHP Chris Stratton (8-5, 4.45 ERA) faces the Rockies on Tuesday for a second time in less than a week. He allowed five runs over four innings last Thursday.

Rockies: RHP Antonio Senzatela (2-1, 6.23) will be recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque and make his first start of the season Tuesday. He takes the place of opening day starter Jon Gray, who was optioned to Triple-A over the weekend.

04-16-2019 07:42 AM
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