Published : 2013-09-04 20:08
Updated : 2013-09-04 20:08
CINCINNATI (AP) ― The dirt-smudged base leaned on the floor in front of Billy Hamilton’s locker. An inscription in black ink noted the importance: “MLB Debut 9/3/13.”
Some debut! The speedy outfielder who outran everything in the minors got his first stolen base in the majors on Tuesday night, and it decided a game with playoff implications. Hamilton swiped second and came around on Todd Frazier’s double in the seventh inning, sending the Cincinnati Reds to a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
“That’s my job ― stealing in important situations,” said Hamilton, who had brown dirt on both knees from his hard slide into that keepsake base. “This was a real big situation ― a pennant race.”
Hamilton set a professional record by swiping 155 bases in the minors last year. He got an ovation when he made his big league debut as a pinch runner for Ryan Ludwick, who led off the seventh with a single against Seth Maness (5-2).
As he went onto the field, manager Dusty Baker had a word. “He said, ‘I need you to get to second base,’” Hamilton said. “I was like, ‘OK, I got you.’”
The 20,219 fans in the stands and everyone on the field and in the dugouts knew what was coming. Hamilton was about to test one of the toughest catchers in the game. Could he outrun catcher Yadier Molina’s throw?
“We knew that this guy’s electric,” said Frazier, who was at bat.
Dodgers earn 6th-straight win
DENVER (AP) ― Ricky Nolasco pitched six strong innings, Carl Crawford had a two-run single among three hits to spark the offense in the absence of injured catalyst Yasiel Puig, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 7-4 on Tuesday night for their sixth-straight win.
Puig, who is batting .351 with 14 homers and 32 RBIs in 80 games in his first season in the majors, was rested a day after he aggravated a right knee strain. He remains day to day.