Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Reds 7, Pirates 2 Pest Hamilton Homers, Leads Reds to 7-2 Win

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Reds 7, Pirates 2 Pest Hamilton Homers, Leads Reds to 7-2 Win

Article excerpt

CINCINNATI - The infielders were drawn in, anticipating a play at home plate, when the baseball blasted off Billy Hamilton's bat. Hamilton, the lightning-quick Cincinnati Reds leadoff hitter, connected with right-hander Jameson Taillon's first-pitch fastball and sent it sailing into the Pirates bullpen at Great American Ball Park for a three-run home run.

Hamilton might have been forgiven if he stood still and savored the shot. He did not. The rocket, the most unexpected moment in a 7-2 Reds win Wednesday, was Hamilton's first home run in 319 at-bats since June 28 and ended the third-longest active homer-less streak in the majors.

In 60 career games against the Pirates, Hamilton has been a nuisance. Though this was his first home run in the series, Hamilton, a career .245 hitter, has batted .313 against the Pirates.

"He continues to be more than a rock in our shoe," manager Clint Hurdle said.

The Reds (13-14) hammered three home runs. The two off Taillon, who allowed six runs on eight hits in five innings, were of the three-run variety. Eugenio Suarez reached down and yanked a low changeup into the left-field seats in the first, and Hamilton homered in the fourth.

"They say solo home runs don't beat you," Taillon said, "but 2- and 3-run home runs do."

Devin Mesoraco, the Reds catcher, had a solo shot off Trevor Williams in the sixth. It was a night to end streaks; Mesoraco hadn't homered in 117 at-bats since Sept. 23, 2014.

For Taillon (2-1), it was one of the poorest outings of his major league career. In five innings, he dealt with a lot of traffic. He gave up eight hits, walked a batter and hit another one. Taillon's ERA rose from 2.08 to 3.31. He has not pitched through the sixth in any of his past three starts.

Taillon felt he had good stuff -"you only get a handful of nights here where you feel that good and crisp and clean," he said -but overall he wasn't sharp. …

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