Sunday, May 7, 2017

Billy Hamilton Swipes 19th Base As Reds Rout Giants; Aaron Hicks Powers Yankees Past Cubs

Players of the Day for Saturday, May 6, 2017

American League

Aaron Hicks
The Yankees have taken their youth movement on the road, this weekend visiting the world champion Chicago Cubs, where they have taken the first two of their three-game series, following up Friday's dramatic ninth-inning comeback 3-2 win with an 11-6 blowout Saturday.

Getting off early and often against Cubs' starter, Brett Anderson, touching him up for six hits and five runs in just 1/3 of an an inning.

Aaron Hicks was the main protagonist, going 4-for-5 with three runs, three RBI and a stolen base. Hicks rattled the Cubs' starter with a bunt single in the opening frame, upon which Brett Gardner scored on Anderson's throwing error, opening the floodgates.

In the second, Hicks singled, stole second, but was left stranded. In the fourth, Hicks doubled and scored on Starlin Castro's sixth homer, putting the Yankees ahead, 8-0. Capping off the scoring in the eighth, Hicks uncorked a three-run homer of his own, his sixth on the year.

Hicks, playing part-time in center and left field, is batting .355, has scored 17 runs and driven in 15 in 62 at-bats.

The Yankees will be seeking the sweep when they close out their weekend series in Chicago, Sunday night at 8:00 pm ET. The game will be televised nationwide on ESPN.

National League

Hamilton: 19 SB
One of the lost arts in today's baseball is the stolen base, but don't tell that to Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton, who was second in the NL in steals each of the last three seasons, with 56, 57, and 58 in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. The first two years Hamilton was chasing Dee Gordon (64, 2014, Dodgers; 58, 2015, Marlins), last season running behind Milwaukee's Jonathan Villar (64).

This year, Hamiliton seems to be intent on setting the record straight. Though batting just .248 in 28 games as the Reds' leadoff hitter, the swift center fielder has swiped 19 bases, leaving Gordon (11) and Villar (6) eating his dust.

The latest came in Saturday's 14-3 rout of the visiting Giants, the second straight manhandling of their guests by the Reds following a 13-3 beating Friday.

Hamilton wasted no time getting the Reds off to a positive start, tripling and scoring in his opening at-bat. In the second, he doubled in a pair of runs and stole third base, but was left stranded.

In the third, Hamilton was again in on the action, singling and scoring as the Reds put up a six spot for a 10-2 lead.

Finishing 3-for-6 with two runs and a pair of RBI, Hamilton has been helping the Reds stay in contention in the NL Central. Saturday's win tied them for first place with the Cubs. Cincy will be looking to sweep the swooning Giants (11-20) Sunday at Great American Ball Park. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 pm ET.

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