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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Billy Hamilton Steals A Win Over The Brewers

Billy Hamilton walked and stole his way to scoring position with his 32nd and 33rd theft to put himself in position to score the winning run in the Reds’ 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brewers’ closer, Corey Knebel, came into a tie game in the eighth to face the top of the Reds’ batting order. Hamilton stole second on the first pitch to Scooter Gennett.  Knebel caught Gennett looking.  The Brewers put Joey Votto on firstbase intentionally.  Hamilton stole third on an 0-2 pitch to Adam Duvall.   Votto took off for second and Duvall hit a sharp ground ball to Travis Shaw at third.  Shaw smothered it but had no play as Hamilton scored.

Rookie Luis Castillo, one game removed from Double A controlled the first-place Brewers offense into the fifth inning with a lot of help from his friends.

“Luis was terrific. He had electric stuff," Bryan Price said. "When I went out to take him out, there were a lot of infielders around.  To a man they said we really like this guy.”

Sxott Schebler climbed the fence to make a spectacular catch to rob Stephen Vogt or a three-run home run.  Vogt had to settle for a sacrifice fly that put the Brewers into a brief lead.

“When he made that catch I said, ‘thank God,"" Castillo said through interpreter Julio Murillo.

Chase Anderson, the Brewers’ starting moundsman lasted just one perfect inning.  While striking out to end the second inning, apparently Anderson strained his left oblique.

"I felt good going into the game," Anderson said. "My arm felt great, like it has all year. Get on the mound, get through the first inning in eight pitches and say OK, it's going to be a good game. I get up there, get 2-0, get take sign and get a strike, I get a fastball there and see it good and I swing at it and it literally feels like somebody stabs me in the left side. Not a good feeling. And the next swing, I was just trying to fight it off but not much you can do when you have that feeling in your side."

Duvall launnhed a long home run (18th) off Anderson’s successor, Paolo Espino.

Ryan Braun hit his eighth home run off Castillo to give Milwaukee another brief advantage.

Espino got two quick outs in the third inning but walked Billy Hamilton.  Gennett, a Brewer until the last day of spring training, drilled a line drive off a sign over the Milwaukee bullpen, giving Castillo a one-run lead to protect.

Castillo allowed a walk and a single in the fourth but got out of it, threw a perfect fifth but was saved by another outfielder and Wandy Peralta.  Shaw walked.  Hernan Perez hit a line drive to left.  Duvall picked it off the fence and fired a strike to Gennett to cut down Perez at second.  Castillo fanned Keon Broxton for his career-high ninth strike out.  Peralta entered to face Vogt, picked up by the Brewers on waivers from the Oakland Athletics.  Vogt lined out hard on a 3-2 pitch to Schebler.

 “No one took it in the shorts more than Stephen Vogt," Price said.  "He had four good at bats, hit the ball hard and just had a single to show for it.”

Tony Cingrani entered in the eighth.  He struck out Eric Thames, his fourth of the game, and Braun.  Shaw tied the game with his 17th home run.

Drew Storen struck out Perez looking to end the inning.

Knebel’s strike out of Gennett broke a Major League record set by Bruce Suter for most games in a row with a strike out, 39.

Raisell Iglesias earned his 14th save in 15 tries with a dramatic end of the game double play.  Jonathan Villar opened the inning with a single.  Vogt hit the ball hard again, lining out again to Schebler.  Orlando Arcia dumped a soft line drive over Gennett's head a second for a single that moved Villar to third.  Arcia took off on a third strike pitch to Jesus Aguilar.  Tucker Barnhart threw to Gennett.  Arcia's intention was to get in a rundown and let Villar score before the third out but Gennett made the tag before Villar could reach home.

“They were going to get in a rundown and let the tying run score," Barnhart said.. "As soon as I let the ball go, I thought, oh no, but Scooter ran him down. We have a lot or really good defenders all over the field.”

The Reds have taken two straight from the first place Brewers.  They made the most of four hits thanks to a great defensive effort and clutch relief pitching.

“Defense won the game," Price said.. "Lost in all the good plays was Billy running down that ball that Schebler lost in the sun.  Our defense has been fantastic.  I wrote them down, Schebler’s catch, Suarez stopping the line drive, Tucker and Scooter to catch the runner.  It was a great team win. So many parts of the game contributed.  Every thing went right for us.”

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