Hamilton legs out inside-the-parker

Cincinnati's top prospect uses his wheels to help the Bats rally

Billy Hamilton hit an inside-the-parker for the fourth consecutive year. (Pat Pfister)

By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com | June 3, 2013 7:01 PM ET

Billy Hamilton's home run trot is a little different than most. Then again, Hamilton isn't your prototypical power hitter either.

His recent trip around the bases took a swift 14.3 seconds.

The shortstop-turned-outfielder legged out a go-ahead inside-the-park homer -- the fourth of his career -- in the Triple-A Louisville Bats' 3-2 win over the host Toledo Mud Hens on Monday.

It was his third homer of the season and the 10th since turning pro. It also marked the fourth consecutive year that MLB.com's No. 10 prospect has homered without clearing the fences.

He hit an inside-the-parker against Randy Hamrick in Rookie-level Billings' 4-1 win over Missoula on Sept. 6, 2010, and he did it again to lead off the seventh inning against Class A Bowling Green's Steve Hiscock in Dayton's 7-2 win on April 19, 2011.

Last year, Hamilton -- who has 30 steals in 53 Triple-A games -- sped around the bases against Jacksonville, adding Suns pitcher Michael Ojala to his list of victims in Pensacola's 6-2 win on July 15.

The Reds' top prospect finished 2-for-4 with a a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. Louisville's last inside-the-park home run was on Aug. 10, 2011, when Kristopher Negron accomplished it against starter Adam Wilk. Incidentally, that was also in the top of the eighth inning with two outs against the Mud Hens.

Emmanuel Burriss led off the top of the eighth with a single to center field, but Corky Miller bunted out to first base and Konrad Schmidt struck out.

With the Bats trailing, 2-1, Hamilton lined the ball to the left-center field gap. Center fielder Ben Guez dove to his right, but he came up empty and the balled rolled to the warning track. Burriss scored from first base easily and Hamilton beat the throw to the plate, sliding home to put the Bats on top as the throw pulled the catcher down the line.

It offered some redemption for Hamilton, who broke Vince Coleman's 29-year-old Minor League stolen-base record last August.

In the bottom of the sixth, a diving Hamilton was unable to catch Danny Dorn's shallow fly ball. He then slipped and fell as he tried to get the ball to the infield, allowing Nick Castellanos to score all the way from first base to snap a 1-1 tie.

Hamilton raised his average to .248 in the win and increased his RBI tally to 19. He entered Monday's game with one extra-base hit in his past 12 games.

Through his first 28 games, Hamilton was batting just .189 with three multi-hit games. In the 25 contests since then, he is 33-for-107 (.308) with nine multi-hit efforts, an eight-game hitting streak and a pair of five-game hitting streaks.

On Monday, Bats starter Armando Galarraga (4-3) picked up the win, yielding two runs -- one earned -- on five hits and three walks while striking out five batters over 7 2/3 innings.

Toledo's Alvarez (5-4) recorded nine punchouts but he allowed three runs on five hits and a walk over 7 2/3 frames.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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