Hamilton, Reds end 13-game losing skid vs Cards with 6-3 win
Legs, glove and bat — center fielder Billy Hamilton used them all to almost single-handedly stop the Cincinnati Reds' historic losing streak to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Hamilton made a bunch of key defensive plays and the Reds ended their 13-game skid against St. Louis, beating the Cardinals 6-3 Sunday.
Hamilton threw out two runners, then made outstanding catches against the wall in the eighth and ninth innings. He also tripled and scored twice.
"It's all about me catching the balls if I get a chance to," Hamilton said. "Like I tell the pitchers, if it's anywhere inside the park, if I can get to it, I'm going to make an effort to get to it."
The Cardinals' overall winning streak against Cincinnati was their longest since the 1930-1931 seasons. The Reds had lost 11 straight home games to St. Louis.
"Honestly, the losing streak to the Cardinals was the last thing on my mind," Reds manager Jim Riggleman said. "It was all about today."
Scooter Gennett drove in two runs and the Reds capitalized on the Cardinals' season-high 11 walks.
"Any win is always good for us," Hamilton said. "We've been struggling up and down this year. For us to get this win, it gets some confidence back in us. I feel it's a big win."
The Cardinals piled up 10 hits in five-plus innings against Anthony DeSclafani (1-1), who was making his second start since Sept. 28, 2016.
Hamilton threw out Jose Martinez trying to stretch a single into a double to end the first inning. Martinez originally was ruled safe, but the call was overturned after a replay review.
Hamilton also threw out pitcher Carlos Martinez trying to score from first on Matt Carpenter's single to end the fourth. Hamilton tried for a diving catch, knocked the ball away, but recovered to throw home.
Amir Garrett allowed an unearned run in the sixth and Michael Lorenzen pitched a perfect seventh before Jared Hughes pitched the eighth and ninth for his fourth save.
"Billy made some insane plays," Hughes said. "I gave him the game ball and a big hug. It was unbelievable. I'm so happy he's on my team.".
The Reds scored five runs on just four hits in 3 2/3 innings against Martinez (3-3), who was making his second start since coming off the disabled list with a strained back muscle. He issued a season-high seven walks, one short of tying his career high, while hitting a batter and uncorking a wild pitch on ball four that allowed Hamilton to go from first to third. Martinez has 12 walks in 7 2/3 innings over his last two starts.
"I couldn't find the strike zone with my breaking ball or my cutter," Martinez said. "I was missing a lot. It was a little bit frustrating. I was really close. I never lost my focus. I was trying to compete."