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Hamilton blazes trail in Double-A debut07/12/2012 12:49 AM ET
By Robert Emrich / Special to MLB.com
Billy Hamilton is so fast, he can steal even when the other team knows he's going.
The Reds' No. 1 prospect stole second and smacked an RBI triple in his Double-A debut as Pensacola fell to Chattanooga, 5-1, on Wednesday.
After striking out in his first two at-bats, Hamilton reached base in the sixth inning on a forceout. With the Minor League leader in stolen bases (104) on first, the Lookouts paid careful attention to Hamilton, having pitcher Matt McGill throw over to first three straight times. With an 0-1 count, the Lookouts called for an well-timed pitchout as Hamilton took off for second. The 21-year-old shortstop still beat the throw, giving him his first Southern League stolen base.
Two innings later, Hamilton collected his first hit with the Blue Wahoos, tripling home David Vidal with two outs.
Hamilton has had an action-packed month. After reaching 100 stolen bases for the second straight season on July 2, the 2009 second-round pick hit a two-run triple for Team USA in the Futures Game on Sunday.
Overall this season Hamilton is batting .323 with 79 runs scored, 10 triples and 105 stolen bases in 83 Minor League games.
McGill improved to 7-4, fanning seven and allowing three hits over six shutout innings for the Lookouts.
Luis Nunez was 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs and Gorman Erickson drove in a pair of runs for Chattanooga.