Chicago Cubs pitcher Lim Chang-yong made his major league debut against the Milwaukee Brewers in a relief appearance in the seventh inning on Saturday. The Korean allowed a hit and a walk in 2/3 of an inning. (AP-Yonhap News)
CINCINNATI (AP) ― Billy Hamilton is still looking for his first major league plate appearance. Cincinnati’s prized prospect has yet to play in the field, and he’s already paying huge dividends for the streaking Reds.
Hamilton stole second in the 10th inning to set up Todd Frazier’s game-winning single, helping Cincinnati beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 on Saturday. “My job was to score at all costs,” Hamilton said. “Everybody knows that’s what I’m here for.”
Ryan Ludwick opened the Cincinnati 10th with a leadoff walk against Brian Wilson (1-1). Reds manager Dusty Baker then went to the dynamic Hamilton, and the speedster took second as catcher A.J. Ellis dropped the ball while taking it out of his glove. “Hamilton is a battle,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “We had a shot there, though. If A.J. gets the ball out of his glove it would have been close.”
The 22-year-old Hamilton, who set a professional record with 155 steals in the minors last season, is 4 for 4 on steal attempts since he was promoted on Monday. According to research by the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first player in major league history to record a stolen base in each of his first four appearances.
“There aren’t many like him,” Baker said, mentioning past base-stealing threats such as Lou Brock and Willie McGee. “Those are guys you know are going to steal, and they steal anyway.”
Reds outfielder Choo Shin-soo (left) runs to congratulate Billy Hamilton after he scored the winning run. (AFP-Yonhap News)
Frazier followed with a line-drive single into right field to give Cincinnati five wins in its last six games. Frazier also drove Hamilton with a seventh-inning double in the Reds’ 1-0 victory against St. Louis on Tuesday.
J.J. Hoover (4-5) got three outs for the win as Cincinnati captured the first two games of its weekend series against the NL West leaders. The Reds will send Homer Bailey to the mound when they go for the sweep on Sunday night against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
Napoli’s 2 HRs lift Red Sox
NEW YORK (AP) ― With each swing, Mike Napoli and the Boston Red Sox are suddenly turning every game into slow-pitch softball.
Napoli hit two home runs, Jonny Gomes and prized rookie Xander Bogaerts also connected, and the Red Sox kept up their dizzying scoring spree at Yankee Stadium by bashing New York 13-9 Saturday for a fifth straight win.
“Sometimes you’re like, ‘What’s going on?’ Because what we’re doing now is pretty crazy,” Napoli said.
The AL East leaders became the first visiting team in more than a century to score at least nine runs on three straight days against the Yankees. In fact, the last time it happened, they weren’t called the Yankees ― Boston did it in 1912 to the Highlanders at Hilltop Park.
Add in a 20-4 pasting of Detroit on Wednesday, and the highest-scoring team in the majors has amassed this four-game total: 54 runs, 17 homers and 64 hits. “We’re doing it in bulk right now,” Gomes said.
Down 12-3, the Yankees rallied with four runs in the sixth inning and chased John Lackey (9-12). Mark Reynolds added a two-run double in the eighth off Red Sox reliever Drake Britton that made it 12-9.
Baltimore 4, Chicago White Sox 3
Oakland 2, Houston 1
Milwaukee 5, Chicago Cubs 3
Cleveland 9, NY Mets 4
Philadelphia 6, Atlanta 5
Kansas City 4, Detroit 3
Toronto 11, Minnesota 2
Washington 9, Miami 2
St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 0
San Diego 2, Colorado 1
LA Angels 8, Texas 3
Arizona 2, San Francisco 1
Seattle 6, Tampa Bay 2