CLEVELAND - Billy Hamilton saw the ball skip away from Michael Brantley in left field, and after that, there was no stopping baseball’s fastest player.
Hamilton scored from first base on Zack Cozart’s two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the Reds over the Indians, 4-3, Wednesday.
Hamilton reached after narrowly beating out an apparent game-ending double play — he was ruled safe after a replay review, putting runners at first and third for Cozart.
With Hamilton running on the pitch, Cozart hit a sinking liner to left. Brantley came up just short on a diving catch attempt, and the ball rolled a couple feet away — plenty of time for Hamilton to follow pinch runner Arismendy Alcantara across home for the lead.
“Not many other guys are going to beat that ball out or score that run, but that’s Billy Hamilton,” Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Cozart gave all the credit to Hamilton.
“When I saw where Billy was, I knew they weren’t going to get him at home,” he said.
Indians closer Cody Allen (0-2) blew his first save since Aug. 17 and also credited Hamilton’s speed for affecting the game. The right-hander had recorded 22 consecutive saves.
“Up until we saw it, we thought he was out, but a guy like that is going to make any play close,” Allen said of the overturned call. “They got the call right. He was safe.”
Michael Lorenzen (3-0) pitched the eighth, and Raisel Iglesias retired Brantley with two on in the ninth for his eighth save.
The game was delayed by rain in the top of the sixth inning for 2 hours and 1 minute.
Iglesias retired the first two hitters in the ninth. Jason Kipnis walked and took third on Francisco Lindor’s single, but Brantley grounded out to second.
Carlos Santana drove in all three Cleveland runs. He hit a two-run homer in the third and broke a 2-all tie with an RBI double in the fifth.
Adam Duvall hit a two-run homer in the fourth for the Reds, who have taken two of three from their in-state rivals in their annual series.
Reds starter Lisalverto Bonilla allowed three runs in five innings
Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer gave up two runs in 5 1/3 innings. He was removed after retiring the first batter in the sixth. As reliever Boone Logan entered the game, the umpires called for the tarp.
Andrew Miller replaced Logan following the lengthy delay. Logan was credited with an appearance despite not throwing a pitch.
Indians right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup and is being evaluated for a possible head injury. He was tagged out sliding headfirst at home plate Sunday against Houston.
After it appeared Hamilton had hit into the double play in the ninth, the fireworks at Progressive Field went off in celebration. The mood quieted quickly as replays clearly showed that Hamilton was safe and Allen threw warm-up pitches from the mound. The call was finally overturned after a delay of nearly three minutes.
“We made the call immediately,” Price said. “We had nothing to lose on the challenge, so we just wanted to turn it over to the umps. We thought it was pretty clear on the replay.”
Allen didn’t blame the lengthy delay during the review for the loss.
“I was ready,” he said. “I’m not going to say Zack Cozart got a base hit because of that. He hit a pretty good pitch.”
Reds - RHP Homer Bailey (right elbow surgery), who has been on the 60-day disabled list all season, pitched one inning in an extended spring training game Wednesday.
Indians - RHP Corey Kluber (strained lower back), who has been on the 10-day DL since May 3, will make a minor league rehab start at Triple-A Columbus on Thursday.
Reds - RHP Tim Adleman allowed a career-high six runs over 4 2/3 innings in his last start against Colorado on May 20.
Indians - RHP Mike Clevinger made his longest start in the majors on May 20 at Houston, tossing seven scoreless innings while striking out a career-high eight.