|Reds beat Cardinals 4-0, avoid sweep|
|Wednesday, April 09, 2014 8:00 PM|
ST. LOUIS — The pop fly cleared the infield by about 20-25 feet. Billy Hamilton's teammates have seen his legs in action but figured he'd stay put at third.
"We didn't even think there would be a chance he would go," catcher Devin Mesoraco said after the Cincinnati Reds' 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday. "As an outfielder, I'm sure you don't expect anybody to go on that play.
"He gets everybody on their edge of their seat."
Hamilton's best game of the season by far backed a stingy outing from Mike Leake. The rookie had three hits and his first two steals — against 6-time Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina — plus that daring dash home on one of the shortest sacrifice flies you'll see.
Hamilton said third base coach Steve Smith told him, "I want to see how fast you really are.
"I might not make it every time but there's always a chance, there's always a good chance. I knew I had to go."
It wasn't even the shortest sacrifice fly he's created. Against a drawn-in infield when he was at Class A Bakersfield, the year he stole a record 155 bases, Hamilton recalled scoring on a pop fly that stayed in the infield after the fielder was forced to turn around and chase down the ball.
"Guys were pressing a little bit and I told them 'I'm going to make something happen for you'," Hamilton added. "If you get a chance to put the ball in play, I've got your back."
Leake (1-1) allowed four hits and a walk in eight scoreless innings and Mesoraco hit a 2-run home run for the Reds, who avoided a 3-game sweep after dropping their ninth series in their last 10 in St. Louis. They're 2-4 against the Cardinals, their NL Central rival, and wrapped up a 2-4 trip.
Hamilton stole the show.
"That's kind of as-advertised right there," manager Bryan Price said. "We've been waiting for that game and I was really glad to see it."
Shelby Miller (0-2) allowed his fourth homer in two starts and faced trouble most of his six innings but held the Reds hitless in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position. Mesoraco hit his first homer in the fourth after doubling twice Tuesday in his first start after coming off the 15-day disabled list.
Hamilton entered batting .091 with two hits and seven strikeouts in 22 at-bats and left town batting .192. He reached safely his first three trips beginning with a triple to open the game when left fielder Matt Holliday missed on a diving catch in the gap.
After singling to start the fifth he put on a show with his legs, stealing second without a throw, going to third on a fly-out to shallow right and scoring easily to beat Jon Jay's' relay on Bruce's pop fly to even shallower right and put the Reds up 3-0.
"He's fast," Miller said. "I've never really seen somebody run the bases like he has."
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Miller could have helped by being quicker to the plate.
"We were paying attention," Matheny added. "It doesn't matter if Yaddy is behind the plate (or) anybody else in the history of the game, if you don't keep your times down they're going to take bags on you."
Hamilton bunted for a hit in the ninth against Pat Neshek and stole second, then scored without a throw on Brandon Phillips' 1-out single to make it 4-0.
Notes: Slumping cleanup man Allen Craig (.097) was not in the lineup for the Cardinals and the Reds gave Zack Cozart (.038) a day off. Together, those two are 4-for-57. ... Both teams have a day off today. The Reds open a 6-game homestand Friday with Johnny Cueto (0-1, 1.93) opposing the Rays and David Price (1-0, 4.05) and the Cardinals and Joe Kelly (1-0, 1.69) begin a 3-game series with the Cubs and Jeff Samardzija (0-1, 1.29). ... Miller was a 15-game winner last year as a rookie, going 10-3 with a 1.75 ERA at home.
ROCKIES 10, WHITE SOX 4
DENVER — D.J. LeMahieu's 2-run single broke a tie in a 6-run eighth inning. LeMahieu finished with three hits, including an RBI double in the sixth that tied the game at 4.
Rex Brothers (1-0) got two outs in the eighth as the Rockies took two out of three in the series and reliever Scott Downs (0-2) was the loser.
Chicago lost right fielder Avisail Garcia after he jammed his left shoulder diving for LeMahieu's low liner in the sixth. The teams said X-rays were negative for a fracture or a separation.
NATIONALS 10, MARLINS 7
WASHINGTON — Jayson Werth hit a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning off Carlos Marmol after Bryce Harper's upper-deck, 3-run homer started a comeback from an early deficit, leading the Washington Nationals over the Miami Marlins.
Werth and Harper each delivered his first homer of the season as Washington overcame deficits of 5-0 and 7-6 in a topsy-turvy game. Werth's shot off Marmol (0-1) came with one out, after the reliever allowed a single, hit a batter, then intentionally walked Anthony Rendon to load the bases.
It made a winner of Tyler Clippard (1-1), who yielded Garrett Jones' tie-breaking RBI double in the top of the eighth after walking a pair of batters. Rafael Soriano worked the ninth for his second save.
CUBS 7, PIRATES 5
CHICAGO — Jason Hammel threw seven strong innings, Anthony Rizzo had four hits and the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates despite allowing five solo home runs.
Hammel (2-0) retired the first 12 batters until Pedro Alvarez's first homer of the game tied it to start the fifth. Hammel allowed three runs and three hits — all solo homers — while striking out six. Mike Olt and Junior Lake hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth against Wandy Rodriguez (0-2).
Alvarez and Russell Martin homered twice for the Pirates and Travis Snider also went deep.
BRAVES 4, METS 3
ATLANTA — Ervin Santana allowed only three hits over eight scoreless innings in his Atlanta debut, Jason Heyward homered and drove in two runs and the Braves held off the New York Mets.
The Braves led 4-0 but the Mets rallied in the ninth after Santana was removed. Juan Lagares drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single and Travis d'Arnaud added a run-scoring single before Craig Kimbrel fanned Ruben Tejada for his fourth save.
Santana (1-0) finished with six strikeouts and no walks.
Georgia native Zack Wheeler (0-2) allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings for the Mets.
BREWERS 9, PHILLIES 4
PHILADELPHIA — Ryan Braun hit a two-run triple during a 4-run eighth inning rally to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to their fifth straight win.
Carlos Gomez and Mark Reynolds homered and Jean Segura doubled and drove in a run for Milwaukee, which has won all five games during the streak on the road. The Brewers snapped a 4-all tie in the eighth when they scored three runs on one hit off Antonio Bastardo (0-1). Reynolds scored the go-ahead run on an error by first baseman Ryan Howard.
Tyler Thornburg (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings of relief to earn the victory.
BOSTON — David Ortiz hit a 3-run homer high over the Pesky Pole in the eighth inning, helping the Boston Red Sox rally for a 4-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.
Ortiz's second homer was heading down the right-field line before it curled around the pole just 302 feet from home plate. Ortiz remained in the batter's box until first-base umpire Jerry Meals signaled a home run.
Rangers manager Ron Washington came out after Ortiz crossed the plate to ask for a review. After 44.1 seconds, the play was upheld.
Andrew Miller (1-0) won despite allowing the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth; Koji Uehara pitched the ninth for his second save. Alexi Ogando (0-1) was the loser.
INDIANS 2, PADRES 0; PADRES 2, INDIANS 1
CLEVELAND — Robbie Erlin (1-0) gave up one run and four hits in six innings and Chase Headley's single in the sixth off Trevor Bauer (0-1) drove in the go-ahead run as San Diego gained a doubleheader split.
Zach McAllister (1-0) allowed five hits in 7 2/3 innings and Jason Kipnis hit a 2-run homer in the sixth off Eric Stults (0-2) as Cleveland won the opener.
ATHLETICS 7, TWINS 4
MINNEAPOLIS — Derek Norris hit a 3-run homer in the 11th inning off Jared Burton (0-1) and Oakland Athletics bounced back from another blown save by new closer Jim Johnson.
Dan Otero (1-0) got the last eight outs for the victory in relief of Johnson, who has given up seven runs, nine hits and six walks in five appearances with the A's.
Oakland has eight straight wins over the Twins, all with at least seven runs.
Minnesota trailed 4-0 after a rocky first inning by Phil Hughes, who needed 40 pitches to get for his first out and wound up allowing four runs, five hits and three walks in five innings.
ROYALS 7, RAYS 3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alex Gordon hit a 3-run homer and matched a career high with four RBIs.
Jeremy Guthrie (2-0) recovered from a sloppy start to hold the Rays to four hits over seven innings.
Kansas City broke open the game with a 5-run fifth off Jake Odorizzi (1-1), part of a 2012 trade that brought James Shields from Tampa Bay to Kansas City.
ORIOLES 5, YANKEES 4
NEW YORK — Nick Markakis had an RBI single in the ninth inning against fill-in closer Shawn Kelley and Baltimore rallied for a victory in Masahiro Tanaka's first Yankee Stadium start.
Jonathan Schoop hit a 3-run homer off Tanaka in the second inning of his first start at Yankee Stadium but Carlos Beltran and Kelly Johnson connected against Miguel Gonzalez in the bottom of the inning.
The Orioles, who managed seven hits while striking out 10 times against Tananka in seven innings, lined four straight singles to center field off Kelley (0-1).
Tommy Hunter gave up a run before getting Yangervis Solarte to ground into a double play for his third save. Brian Matusz got two outs (1-0) for the win.
BLUE JAYS 7, ASTROS 3
TORONTO — Brett Lawrie hit a 2-run homer and Brandon Morrow won for the first time in almost 11 months.
Alex Presley hit a 2-run homer for the Astros, who have lost six out of seven following a 2-0 start.
Morrow (1-1), limited to 10 starts last season with a nerve injury in his forearm, won for the first time since May 23, 2013, when he beat Baltimore. He allowed three runs and five hits in six innings and struck out nine.
Steve Delabar got one out in the ninth but had to leave after he was hit on the lower right leg by Jose Altuve's liner. Esmil Rogers finished.
Jose Bautista hit an RBI double in the first and Adam Lind added an RBI single as the Blue Jays jumped out to a quick lead against Lucas Harrell (0-2).
|Last Updated on Wednesday, April 09, 2014 8:05 PM|