Sunday, July 14, 2013

Billy Hamilton scores a run as United States upends World in Futures Game

The United States doubled up the World, 4-2, in the MLB Futures Games on Sunday to increase their overall series lead to 9-6.

Diamondbacks prospect Matt Davidson was named the game's Most Valuable Player after clubbing a two-run homer that put the U.S. team ahead for good in the bottom of the fourth.

Two Reds prospects played a role in the outcome of the game: center fielder Billy Hamilton for the U.S. squad and right-handed pitcher Carlos Contreras for the World.

Hamilton, rated as the top prospect in the organization, got the start in center and batted lead off only to go 0-for-2 with a flyout and a groundout. He was replaced by Twins prospect Byron Buxton in the top of the fifth, however, re-entered the game in the bottom of the eight as a pinch-runner, eventually scoring a run.

Contreras entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning with the U.S. clinging to a one-run lead. The Dominican native proceeded to allow three hits and an earned run before being relieved by Royals prospect Yordano Ventura.

Hamilton, 22, has struggled with the bat this season at Triple-A Louisville after batting .311/.410/.420 with 155 stolen bases between Single-A and Double-A in 2012. In 2013, the speedster is hitting just .243/.300/.331 through 83 games, but does have 52 stolen bags.

Contreras, 21, has tallied a 5-7 record and 3.80 ERA in 18 starts for Single-A Bakersfield this season. He recorded a 3.12 ERA and converted 20/24 saves in 49 appearances as a reliever one year ago.

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