Hamilton: Inside-the-park HR will happen

Hamilton: Inside-the-park HR will happen

CINCINNATI -- Center fielder Billy Hamilton's six plate appearances during the Reds' 13-3 rout of San Francisco on Friday produced four runs, two walks, two singles, a triple, two RBIs and two stolen bases -- pretty much everything but the kitchen sink.

Or an inside-the-park home run.

Hamilton's sixth-inning hit rolled through the gap and to the left-center-field wall. Giants left fielder Brandon Belt retrieved the ball and made a strong throw, but Hamilton said only a moment of indecision on his part kept him from his first inside-the-park homer in the big leagues.

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"If I had been running right out of the box, it would have been close," Hamilton said Saturday. "I thought maybe [Belt] had a chance to make the play, so I held up just a little bit."

Hamilton wouldn't second-guess third-base coach Billy Hatcher throwing up the stop sign.

"If he tells me to stop, I stop," Hamilton said. "I trust him to make that decision."

An inside-the-park homer is a rarity in baseball, even for a speedster like Hamilton. In 2016, all but nine of the 5,610 home runs hit in the Major Leagues left the outfield.

"I'll get one one of these days," Hamilton said.

Hamilton did get one of those in the Minor Leagues in 2012 while playing for Class A Dayton.

There were plenty of other noteworthy statistics for Hamilton on Friday:

• He became the first Reds batter to produce three hits, a triple, two RBIs, two walks, four runs and two stolen bases in the same game since RBIs became a statistic in 1920.

• He became the first Major League batter to record three hits, a triple, two RBIs, two walks, four runs and two stolen bases since John Valentin did so for Boston on June 13, 1995, at Toronto.

• He stole third base for the 55th time in his career, the most of any player since 2013.

"It's an impact on our offense when he's on base, no doubt about it," Reds manager Bryan Price said.


Pitcher Homer Bailey threw a 30-pitch bullpen session Friday that "went very well," according to Price. Bailey, who is rehabbing from having elbow surgery in February that removed bone chips, is expected to continue to work off a mound every three days.

Andrew Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Reds on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.