Hamilton makes presence felt in return vs. Rox

Hamilton makes presence felt in return vs. Rox

CINCINNATI -- Billy Hamilton was back in the starting lineup Sunday, the first time Cincinnati's center fielder had occupied his spot atop the Reds' batting order in more than a week.

Hamilton sprained two knuckles on his left hand diving for a ball in the outfield during the first inning of a May 1 game against Milwaukee.

"He has been able to take batting practice only during the last two days," Reds manager Bryan Price said before the Reds' 4-1 victory against the Rockies. "They were really his first regular swings since the injury."

The speedy rookie appeared healthy enough Sunday, stealing his 12th base in 32 games, belting a triple to the right-center-field gap, and leading off the game with a bunt single on which he advanced to third thanks to a Colorado error.

Though out of the lineup, Hamilton had been used sporadically as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement, and he contributed a pinch-hit double Friday night against Colorado.

Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.