"Hamilton to Phillips to Mesoraco" doesn't quite have the same lyrical quality of "Tinkers to Evers to Chance," but the combination on display twice on Saturday was as poetic as anything that's ever been written on the game of baseball. That sounds a bit hyperbolic, but the play at the plate remains one of the most exciting bits of action on a baseball field, and executed perfectly, it's breathtaking. To end back-to-back innings with it? Well, it was a thing of beauty. Billy Hamilton, Brandon Phillips and Devin Mesoraco teamed up to end both the sixth and seventh innings in Saturday's game with the Phillies with third outs recorded at the plate, both times holding off the hard-charging visitors, preserving a 6-5 victory in front of 36,347 at Great American Ball Park on Saturday. For a team that's struggled, it was a reminder of what they can do well -- and with a few exceptions during the course of a season, this Cincinnati Reds team fields the ball well. "So today, getting that perfect relay twice really substantiated what we're trying to do," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We have the ability to do it, we've been doing it a long time, and we just need to do it more frequently." The Reds built up a 6-2 lead in the sixth when Carlos Ruiz homered to lead off the inning, pulling the Phillies to within three runs. And then with two outs and Marlon Byrd on first, Domonic Brown doubled to right-center. Byrd was running with intentions of scoring from the crack of the bat, but as Jay Bruce and Hamilton converged on the warning track in the right-center gap, Bruce told the right-handed throwing Hamilton to take the ball. Hamilton got there quickly and the former shortstop made the quick throw to the cutoff man, Phillips, who got the ball out in a hurry to get to Mesoraco. Mesoraco took a step back, fielded the ball on a hop, made the catch and held onto the ball as Byrd barreled into him. He held onto the ball for what seemed to be the final out of the inning.
Homers from Bruce, Frazier lift Reds over Phillies
Cincinnati Enquirer | Jun 8