Dusty Baker's use of Billy Hamilton thusfar this season has been exactly what we expected. Hamilton has gotten action in four games as a Red. In all four of those games, Hamilton was used as a pinch runner. In all four of those games, Hamilton has stolen second base. He's scored runs in three of those games, and the Reds are 3-1 over those four games. On Saturday night, the process was similar to other games: Ryan Ludwick walks, Hamilton comes in as a pinch runner, steals second on the second pitch to Todd Frazier, and scores the game-winning run on a Frazier single. Bing, bang, boom.
PIC OF THE DAY
AJ Pierzynski…GAH! (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Day: Orioles 4, White Sox 3 (ten innings). Chicago has been pushed to the brink of elimination with this loss, and it came in soul crushing fashion. After a solo homer by Brian Roberts tied this one up at two in the fifth, both offenses went into hibernation mode until the 10th, when Conor Gillaspie of the White Sox put Chicago in front with a solo homer off of Tommy Hunter. Addison Reed came in for the save, and things didn't go so well. Reed got JJ Hardy to ground out to lead off the inning before allowing singles to Henry Urrutia and Nick Markakis. Nate McLouth struck out for the inning's second out, but not before Markakis stole second. That brought up Matt Wieters, who singled in pinch runner Chris Dickerson and Markakis to give Baltimore a much-needed victory to keep them in the thick of the wild card race.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Dan Straily helped the A's top the Astros 2-1, giving up two hits over seven shutout innings, walking one and punching out seven. Adam Wainwright was similarly good for the Cardinals as they beat the Pirates 5-0, allowing two hits in seven shutout innings of his own, striking out eight while walking a pair. Tyson Ross led the Padres to a 2-1 win over the Rockies, giving up three hits in seven scoreless frames, walking a pair and striking out five. Brandon McCarthy pushed the Diamondbacks past the Giants 2-1, allowing one run on six hits in eight innings, striking out six and walking just one. Finally, Nationals rookie Tanner Roark had a nice start in their 9-2 beatdown of the Marlins, giving up four hits over six shutout frames, walking none and striking out four.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Adam Lind powered the Blue Jays to an 11-2 thrashing of the Twins, going 2/5 with a pair of homers and six RBI. The duo of Jonny Gomes and Mike Napoli helped the Red Sox smash the Yankees 13-9, as Gomes went 3/4 with a homer, two runs, and four RBI, while Napoli went 2/5 with two homers and three RBI. In Washington's win over Miami, Ryan Zimmerman went 2/5 with two homers and three RBI. Freddy Galvis helped the Phillies edge the Braves 6-5, going 4/5 with two RBI and a walkoff solo homer.
Other Games: The Brewers topped the Cubs 5-3. The Indians smashed the Mets 9-4. The Royals slipped by the Tigers 4-3. The Angels beat the Rangers 8-3. The Mariners beat the reeling Rays 6-2.
Today's Games: Jon Lester and Hiroki Kuroda square off in the Bronx. Danny Salazar and the Indians host the Mets. Stephen Strasburg starts for the Nationals in Miami. Bud Norris and the Orioles host the White Sox. Cole Hamels and the Phillies host the Braves. Charlie Morton and Michael Wacha duel in St Louis. Doug Fister takes on Bruce Chen in Kansas City. Yovani Gallardo starts for the Brewers in Chicago against Scott Baker, finally making his Cubs debut. Wade Miley and Madison Bumgarner will battle in San Francisco. Bartolo Colon and the A's host the Astros. Matt Moore starts for the Rays in Seattle. Clayton Kershaw and Homer Bailey will face off in Cincinnati.
National TV: Red Sox-Yankees (1 PM, TBS), Dodgers-Reds (8 PM, ESPN)
MLB.tv Free Game: Pirates-Cardinals (2 PM)
Pitching Matchup of the Day: Clayton Kershaw vs Homer Bailey (Dodgers vs Reds, 8 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.