September 3, 2013

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Video: Billy Hamilton picks up first career stolen base


Reds speedster Billy Hamilton made his major league debut as a pinch-runner on Tuesday night after a Ryan Ludwick single to center field and stole second base off Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.

Molina probably would have had him if the throw was on line, but knowledge of Hamilton’s base-stealing prowess likely caused the five-time Gold Glove winner to rush it. Hamilton scored moments later when Todd Frazier slapped a double to left field.

Here’s the replay of Hamilton’s first career steal from

Hamilton tallied 395 stolen bases in 502 minor league games. He’s probably up in the majors for good.

Jeff Locke will rejoin the Pirates’ rotation on Saturday

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Jeff Locke had a hideous 7.94 ERA in five August starts and was demoted to the minor leagues last Wednesday evening. But he is coming right back.

According to’s Tom Singer, Locke was officially recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday afternoon and will rejoin the Pirates’ starting rotation this Saturday night against the Cardinals.

It’s a crucial start against one of the teams — the other being the Reds — that the Bucs are trying to fend off for the National League Central crown.

Locke posted a stellar 2.15 ERA across 109 innings during the first half of the season and was rewarded in July with his first All-Star nod, but the shine wore off quickly in the second half for the 25-year-old southpaw. He has a 6.18 ERA in 39 1/3 innings since July 21.

Jason Heyward cleared to play catch and hit off a tee

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Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an update on the status of Braves outfielder Jason Heyward, who suffered multiple fractures in his jaw when he was beaned by a fastball on August 21:

Jason Heyward isn’t chewing solid food yet, but he did get a pleasant surprise during a visit to the oral surgeon Tuesday. He was cleared to begin playing some catch and swinging at balls off a tee.

“I was excited to get the process started,” Heyward told reporters Tuesday after receiving that clearance. “It happened sooner that I would have expected.”

The 24-year-old has already been ruled out for the remainder of the 2013 regular season, but he could return for the playoffs. Heyward was batting .253/.347/.423 with 13 home runs and 37 RBI in 95 games played.