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Still out of lineup, Hamilton plays big role in win

Still out of lineup, Hamilton plays big role in win

CINCINNATI -- Because of two sprained knuckles on his left hand, Reds rookie center fielder Billy Hamilton has been out of the starting lineup for a week, including Friday night's series opener against the Rockies.

But Hamilton took batting practice and was good enough to pinch-hit and deliver a big moment. Batting for Johnny Cueto in a 2-2 game in the bottom of the eighth, Hamilton lined a leadoff double to right field and scored the go-ahead run before the Reds won a 4-3 game in the ninth.

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"He hasn't had a ton of right-handed at-bats, especially since he had his hand banged up again," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

On Friday there was still swelling in Hamilton's hand but also some improvement from the past few days, when he was still unable to grip a bat.

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.

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