Cincinnati Reds: Billy Hamilton triples twice in final spring game in Arizona

Cingrani pitches seven strong innings

GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Billy Hamilton hit two triples on a 3-for-4 day and Tony Cingrani pitched seven solid innings as the Cincinnati Reds topped the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-1 Thursday in their final spring game at Goodyear Ballpark.

Both players will be on a major-league Opening Day roster for the first time Monday when the Reds host the St. Louis Cardinals.

"I'm beyond excited. It is a dream come true," said Cingrani. "It is unbelievable for me and Billy."

Hamilton (.327)  will lead off and play center field Monday. The 23-year-old speedster played just 13 games last season after a September callup but hit .368 and stole 13 bases in 14 tries.

He was a perfect 9-for-9 this spring and hit his first homer in a Reds' uniform.

Hamilton almost hit his second homer of the spring Thursday. His drive bounced high off the wall and got past right fielder Jordan Parraz, and Hamilton took a wide turn at third but held.

On-deck batter Brandon Phillips was jumping up and down, waving on Hamilton.

"He's been terrific," manager Bryan Price said of Hamilton. "His approach has been impeccable. He has kept the ball out of the air except for two sacrifice flies he hit the other day. His defense has been impeccable, too."


Cingrani found out earlier that he will start the second game of the season against St. Louis on April 2.

The 24-year old left-hander allowed one run and five hits, including a homer by Nick Evans. Cingrani walked one but picked off two runners.

"Cingrani is the confident kind. He's not emotionally fragile," Price said.

Cingrani pitched in 23 Reds game last year and went 7-4 with a 2.92 ERA.

He left spring training with a 3-1 record and a 4.81 ERA.

"Statistically, it hasn't been a good spring, but he has improved his changeup and breaking ball," Price said.

Make It Two Out Of Two

Jason Bourgeois had a double and a home run and drove in two runs as the Reds split squad beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-2 on Thursday.

Michael Lorenzen pitched four scoreless innings after three Reds pitchers threw an inning each to begin the game.

Juan Duran added a two-run homer. The Reds had 14 hits.


Injury Bugs

Catcher Devin Mesoraco hasn't played in 10 days because of a strained oblique.

"Devin has to play. He has to catch, throw, hit and run. It is unlikely that he will join us, but we haven't signed off on putting him on the disabled list," Price said.

Pitcher Brett Marshall is slowed by a strained tendon in his middle finger. He strained it in the game on Wednesday against the White Sox.

"Marshall is seeing a hand specialist in Phoenix ," Price said.

Moving On

The Reds will leave injured players behind to work out in minor league games while the team breaks camp with three non-roster players, Roger Bernadina, Chris Nelson and Jason Bourgeois.

"There are a lot of balls in the air. We've discussed it already, just trying to figure out what to do with the 40-man roster," Price said.

The Reds (14-17) play against their minor league affiliates in Pensacola on Friday night and Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

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