Hamilton stars as Reds finally beat Cardinals

Anthony DeSclafani passed Billy Hamilton’s locker on his way out of the Cincinnati Reds clubhouse on Sunday. Hamilton, the star of a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park, was surrounded by a group of reporters.

“You saved me today,” DeSclafani said to Hamilton.

Hamilton laughed and then explained his strategy in center field.

“It’s all about me catching the balls if I get a chance to,” Hamilton said. “Like I tell the pitchers, if it’s anywhere inside the park, if I can get to it, I’m going to make an effort to get to it.”

» RELATED: Defense keeping Hamilton in the lineup

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Hamilton made two leaping catches in the series finale and also threw out runners at second and home to help the Reds end a 13-game losing streak against the Cardinals.

Hamilton also scored the first two Reds runs after they fell behind 2-0. He went 1-for-3 with a walk to end an 0-for-15 slump and raise his average to .193. While interim manager Riggleman holds out hope that Hamilton’s offense will come around, he’ll keep playing him because of his defensive abilities.

“That’s why he’s so important,” Riggleman said. “With all due respect to everybody else who goes out there throughout the league, nobody can do the things he does. It was really special.”

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DeSclafani made his second start of the season. He allowed two earned runs on 10 hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked two and earned his first victory since 2016.

“The first victory is definitely satisfying,” DeSclafani said. “I don’t think I was as good as I wanted to be today. There’s definitely still a lot of work from here on out. I was falling behind some guys and just giving up too many hits. That’s a lot of battling throughout a game. You’re not going to give yourself a chance to succeed if you give up that that many hits, but it’s definitely something to build on. It’s a win. The team played great. Great defense behind me.”

Notes: Amir Garrett, Michael Lorenzen and Jared Hughes combined to throw four scoreless innings of relief. … Eugenio Suarez drove in a run to move into first place in the National League with 48 RBIs. Scooter Gennett had two RBIs and sits one back of Suarez. … J amie Wemken of Independence, Ky., won a Toyota Tundra truck because Jesse Winker hit a home run within three inches of the Toyota sign in center field on Saturday. No player has ever hit the sign, but Northern Kentucky Toyota Dealers decided Winker came close enough. The sign is 430 feet from home plate.

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