Yadier finally gets best of speedy Hamilton

Yadier finally gets best of speedy Hamilton

CINCINNATI -- Yadier Molina finally caught Billy Hamilton stealing and couldn't help stealing a smile for himself in the process.

Hamilton, the Reds' speedy center fielder, was 10-for-10 in stolen-base attempts against the Cardinals' All-Star catcher and a perennial Gold Glover -- until Sunday as St. Louis took a 9-2 victory.

After he hit a one-out single in the seventh inning against reliever Jonathan Broxton, Hamilton was off and running on the first pitch to next batter Jason Bourgeois. Molina fired a perfect strike inside of second base to nab Hamilton as he slid feet-first.

Second-base umpire Pat Hoberg called out Hamilton, who immediately got up and headed to the dugout while Molina reacted to the out with a big grin and raised his arms in the air for a moment.

"When you have thrown the best baserunner in the league out," Molina said. "it makes you feel good."

"I get it," manager Mike Matheny said of the reaction. "But there are a whole lot of people in the league that have never thrown him out. He's a different-style basestealer. There's not many like him."

Hamilton, on the other hand, was less than pleased.

"He threw me out. That's all I have to say," Hamilton said.

Molina's moment came two days after allowing the Reds to steal four bases, the first time Molina had allowed that many in a game. Two were by Hamilton, bringing his Major League-leading total to 56. He also took third base since Molina also made two throwing errors. It marked the third time Hamilton had swiped two bases off Molina in one game.

"You're going up against one of the greatest catch-and-throw catchers, at least that I've ever seen," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "To have the success he's had against St. Louis in his brief history in the big leagues is impressive."

Molina actually nabbed two runners on Sunday, as he erased Bourgeois from the basepaths in the first inning. With those two throws, Molina pushed his season caught-stealing percentage to 40 percent, the second highest among all National League catchers.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the all-time steals leader against Molina is Carlos Gomez of the Astros. The former Brewer has 11 steals overall.

"You look at the caught-stealing numbers with [Molina], his success rate against him is just over 50 percent," Price said. "There are a lot of teams that aren't going to run against him unless you get somebody really slow to the plate in their rotation. Their starters hold the ball well and are quick to the plate. He can shut down your running game, I can tell you that."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.