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Billy Hamilton has perfect day as Reds beat Padres, 8-7

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That kind of leading-off would do just fine, even if it came when he wasn't leading off.

Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

The Cincinnati Reds were on FS-Ohio for the first time in this one, and to match it they rolled out a lineup featuring most every position player you’d expect to be in their Opening Day lineup. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, the most exciting player in that lineup - Billy Hamilton - had his best day of the spring.

Hamilton singled twice, doubled, drove in a run, scored, and stole his first two bases of Cactus League play, fueling the heart of the Reds’ lineup on the day. He was also wearing some sparkly white cleats, so maybe that’s the secret. Someone keep track of that, would ya?

Honorable Mentions are due to: Devin Mesoraco, who actually played in a baseball game; Zack Cozart, who composed a 2-run concerto; Cody Reed, who K’d 7 against a lone walk in his 3.2 IP (though he allowed 2 ER and 4 H); Joey Votto, who singled, drove in a run, and coaxed a walk; Blake Wood, who K’d 3 in his 1.1 innings of work; Stuart Turner, who had a 2 for 2 day (with a walk); Scott Schebler, who singled twice; Zach Vincej, who dingered; Christian Walker, who spanked a 2-run triple; and Tony Cingrani, who continued his Cactus League scoreless inning streak.

Key Plays

  • Cody Reed’s start could’ve begun a bit better, since Hunter Renfroe destroyed a pitch that caught a bit too much of the plate in the Top of the 1st for dinger over the fence in left-center. It was of the 2-run variety, as Cory Spangenberg had doubled off the LF wall in front of him. Reds trailed, 1-0.
  • Cincinnati got a run back in the Bottom of the 2nd, however, after Hamilton smacked a 1-out single, took 2B after beating an attempted pickoff, and scored on Votto’s single back up the middle. Reds trailed, 2-1.
  • A leadoff walk to Allen Cordoba began the Top of the 3rd, and - believe it or not - it haunted. Cordoba ended up on 2B when a pick-off attempt by Devin Mesoraco went awry, and he later scored on a bunt single after a productive grounder had moved him to 3B. Reds trailed, 3-1.
  • The Reds squared things in the Bottom of the 4th on Cozart’s 2-run dinger (which came immediately after Scott Schebler dumped a single over the shift into RF). Later that inning, Turner’s "triple" to the wall in RF - the Padres OF either lost it in the sun, or misplayed it - led to the Reds getting in front, as he scored on another single by Hamilton. Reds led, 4-3.
  • A longball once again bit Drew Storen in the Top of the 6th, as Hector Sanchez crushed a solo dinger over the wall in RF to tie the game. The Reds, however, struck back immediately in the Bottom of the 6th, as Jose Peraza scored on an Arismendy Alcantara sac-fly after leading off the inning with a single. Reds led, 5-4.
  • Unfortunately, bullpen dingeritis was contagious in this one, and the bug got to Michael Lorenzen in the Top of the 8th. After the fireballin’ righty allowed back to back singles to open the frame, Edwin Moreno launched a hearty 3-run blast over the RF wall to put the Padres ahead, 7-5.
  • The dingeritis went airborne and infected the San Diego Padres' staff, too, as Kevin Quackenbush took the mound for the Bottom of the 8th and immediately served up a meatball to Zach Vincej - a solo shot that brought the Reds within a run. Walks to both Sebastian Elizalde and Turner led to another run when the Padres threw the ball into the dugout in an attempt to turn a double play, and an eventual 2-run triple by Walker cleared the bases and put the Reds back ahead, 8-7.
  • After that, Lorenzen & the backup infield escaped a few infield hits to secure the win. Reds won, 8-7!

Other Notes

  • Prior to the start of this one, the Reds announced their first round of cuts from big league camp. Sixteen players were either optioned or reassigned to minor league camp, with infielder Dilson Herrera being the most prominent name sent down. According to reports, nobody was released, so all are still in the system.
  • Tomorrow marks the second off-day for the Reds so far this spring. So, don't text them too early in the morning.
  • They’ll return to action under the lights on Friday night in Goodyear, albeit as the road team as they’ll be facing Cleveland - their cross-complex foes. Brandon Finnegan will start for Cincinnati, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland ace Corey Kluber in a matchup of two guys on-path to be their teams’ respective Opening Day starters this year. First pitch is set for 9:05 PM ET.
  • Tunes.