PITTSBURGH -- Getting on base is Billy Hamilton's top priority as the Reds' leadoff hitter. Reaching safely to start Monday's game, however, was painful. Francisco Liriano's very first pitch, a 93-mph fastball, nailed Hamilton on the right ankle.
"Right now, it still bothers me, but not as much to keep me out of the game," Hamilton said on Tuesday. "Last night, guys were asking me if it hurt. I was like 'Yeah,' but when you have that adrenaline in the game, you don't really feel it. But just sitting around it was bad. It's not going to affect my playing or anything."
It certainly didn't when Hamilton amazingly advanced from first base to third base on a routine groundball to Liriano hit by next batter Joey Votto .
"If you're on second base already and it's a ground ball to the pitcher, they're supposed to give you a look, but they're not expecting guys to go from first to third on a groundball like that," Hamilton said. "They don't pay attention to you. I took advantage of him not paying attention and not giving me a look. It's more instincts to not be afraid to make that play."
Hamilton said that he and manager Bryan Price discussed the need for him to be aggressive on the bases and reach third base with less than two outs. On Monday, he was able to score the game's first run on a fielder's choice grounder by Brandon Phillips.
"Our motto every single day from now is, 'If you go, we go.' Guys are always telling me that," Hamilton said. "With that motto, my job is to get on and get over."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.