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Billy Hamilton rips 'round bases, scores on own double

/ by Vinnie Duber
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
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It doesn't take long for Billy Hamilton to fly around the bases.

So the premature cries of an inside-the-park home run for the famed speedster Tuesday night were not without reason.

Indeed, Hamilton did go from home to home on one play, a big one, at that, as he flipped a 2-0 Chicago White Sox deficit into a 3-2 White Sox lead in the second inning in Cleveland.

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Hamilton — fresh off his power display in a weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles, where he homered in back-to-back games — showed off his newfound pop against Cleveland Indians ace Shane Bieber, launching a ball to the wall in right-center field.

The extra-base knock drove in a pair of runs, and then Hamilton showed off the skill he's most famous for, scampering to third on a throw to the plate and not stopping, scoring the go-ahead run with a headfirst slide when the ball got away from the Cleveland catcher.

While Twitter jumped to inside-the-park conclusions, the official scorer in Cleveland called it a double, an advance to third on the throw and a run scored on an error.

Oh well.

Regardless, it was a terrific play and the latest in a string of offensive highlights for Hamilton.

Much maligned in the early parts of the season, Hamilton has kept at it while thrust into an unexpectedly prominent role thanks to injuries to two starting White Sox outfielders. But with the help of Tim Anderson, Hamilton, whose offensive output has not matched his electric speed throughout his major league career, has reframed the way he thinks about himself, preferring to be "Billy the hitter" and not just "Billy the runner."

 

Hamilton has made the types of contributions that have helped the White Sox keep their World Series hopes afloat while Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert spent months recovering from their respective injuries. And if he can keep it up, those World Series hopes will stay as realistic as ever.

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