Hamilton calls first at-bats of career 'fun'

Hamilton calls first at-bats of career 'fun'

Hamilton calls first at-bats of career 'fun'

CINCINNATI -- With the Reds on the wrong end of a 9-1 loss to the Cubs on Tuesday, top prospect Billy Hamilton finally got a chance to do something besides pinch-run. Hamilton played the final three innings in center field for Shin-Soo Choo, going 0-for-2 at the plate.

Teammates had simple advice for Hamilton before he stepped into the batters' box for the first time in the bottom of the seventh.

"Before I went in there, they were just like, 'Breathe, that's the main thing.' That helped me out a lot," Hamilton said. "Of course, I was a little bit nervous, but not as nervous as I thought I'd be."

Hamilton lined out to Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro in the seventh and grounded out to short in the ninth. He also just missed robbing Welington Castillo of a homer at the wall in the top of the seventh.

"Last night was pretty fun," Hamilton said. "I had a good time, especially the first at-bat. It always means something, even if you don't get a hit out of it. I was excited about it."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.