Cincinnati Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton goes after every ball with everything he has. He didn’t slow down on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) when he saw left fielder Adam Duvall sprinting at him.
The two veered away from each other at the last second on a long fly ball into the gap in the first inning, but the ball hit Hamilton in the face and caromed into the corner
Anthony Rizzo had a three-run inside-the-park home run. The Cubs had a 3-0 lead. That was all they needed in a 9-2 victory over the Reds in the series finale at Great American Ball Park.
Hamilton left the game with a contusion on his face. Tyler Holt took over in center.
“It was really anybody’s ball,” Duvall said. “We started both going at the same time. I thought we were going to collide there for a second. The bottom line is it didn’t get caught, and it cost us. I don’t think I took my eye off the ball, but I think I flinched. But you’ve got to catch it. It all happened so fast.”
The inside-the-park home run was the first against the Reds since Jordy Mercer, of the Pittsburgh Pirates, hit one September 29, 2013.
Roster move: The Reds demoted relief pitcher J.J. Hoover to Triple-A Louisville before the game and recalled reliever Keyvius Sampson.
Hoover allowed five runs in the 15th inning Tuesday in a 7-2 loss to the Cubs. He gave up the sixth grand slam of his career to become the Reds’ all-time leader in grand slams allowed. The slam by Javier Baez was the third in baseball history hit in the 15th inning or later.
Hoover fell to 1-2 with a 13.50 ERA in 18 games. This is the second time this season he has been sent down to Triple-A.
Dominant Cubs: The Cubs have homered in 12 straight games against the Reds. They have outscored the Reds 87-32 in 10 games this season and lead the season series 9-1. The Cubs have won 12 of their last 13 against the Reds.
Home run leader: Duvall hit his 22nd home run, tying Mark Trumbo, of the Baltimore Orioles, for the major-league lead. Duvall is tied for eighth in baseball with 54 RBIs.
Bailey update: Homer Bailey is scheduled to make his second rehab start for Triple-A Louisville on Saturday. He threw one inning Monday and allowed two solo home runs.
Looking ahead: The Reds start a 10-game road trip Thursday. They don’t return to Great American Ball Park until after the All-Star break.
They start a four-game series against the Nationals on Thursday and then play three against the Cubs and three against the Miami Marlins.