Hamilton injured on Rizzo's inside-the-park HR

Center fielder diagnosed with contusion after ball strikes him in face

Hamilton injured on Rizzo's inside-the-park HR

CINCINNATI -- Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton had a knot on the left side of his face, but could at least say he was fortunate he wasn't hurt worse. The start of the Reds' 9-2 loss to the Cubs on Wednesday took a scary turn three batters into the afternoon.

Hamilton had to exit after being hit in the face by an Anthony Rizzo fly ball while trying to make a catch. Rizzo wound up with a three-run inside-the-park home run on the play and Hamilton was later diagnosed with a facial contusion.

"There always has to be some follow-up," Reds manager Bryan Price said of Hamilton's condition. "I think he's done some concussion protocol stuff that hasn't shown anything. I think it's something you follow up with here over the next day or two."

Because he was going through the concussion protocol procedures, Hamilton was not available to speak to reporters. However, he was seen moving around OK and talking with teammates in the clubhouse.

Chicago had two men on base vs. pitcher Cody Reed when Rizzo hit a 1-1 pitch to left-center field. Both Hamilton and left fielder Adam Duvall converged on the play, and the ball grazed off of Duvall's glove and hit Hamilton in the face as he tried to avoid a collision.

"It was one of those bang-bang plays and it was really anybody's ball," Duvall said. "We started both going at the same time and -- I thought we were going to collide there for a second. The bottom line is it needs to be caught and that cost us."

Duvall acknowledged that he should have made the play.

"I don't think I took my eye off the ball, but I think I kind of maybe flinched a little bit," he said. "But I've got to catch it."

The ball ricocheted to the left-field wall while Hamilton was lying face down on the field. As Duvall chased it down, Rizzo was able to circle the bases and score. It was ruled a three-run inside-the-park home run for a 3-0 Chicago lead.

Hamilton spent several moments down on the field and surrounded by concerned teammates while being checked on by Reds head athletic trainer Steve Baumann. He was able to walk off the field under his own power with Baumann through the Reds' bullpen.

"I asked him if he was OK ... obviously it hit him pretty good because it rolled pretty far," Duvall said. "I'm guessing it was a clean shot. I haven't seen it, but hopefully he'll be all right."

Tyler Holt replaced Hamilton in center field.

"By the time I saw him around the fourth or fifth inning, he seemed to be in pretty good spirits, all things considered," Price said. "He really wanted to stay in the game, but situations like that, especially with his history, I think we made the right decision to get him out."

Hamilton already sustained a head injury earlier this month and was on the 7-day concussion disabled list from June 10-16 after he banged his head sliding into third base attempting to steal on June 8 vs. the Cardinals. Batting .255 with a .296 on-base percentage overall, he is 8-for-40 (.200) since returning.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.