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Hamilton day-to-day following hand injury

CINCINNATI -- The swelling on the middle knuckle of Billy Hamilton's left hand was still clearly visible one day later. After spraining two knuckles on that hand to make a spectacular diving catch, the Reds center fielder was not starting on Friday.

Roger Bernadina started in Hamilton's place while Chris Heisey played left field and took over the leadoff spot.

"It's hard to grip the bat right now," Hamilton said. "It's hard to put my hand in the glove right now too. I use these two fingers to squeeze the bottom of the glove."

On the very first pitch from Homer Bailey during Thursday's 8-3 win over Milwaukee, Carlos Gomez hit a line drive to right-center field. Hamilton made the diving catch for the out, but was slow to get up. Heisey replaced him and pinch-hit to lead off the bottom of the first inning.

"I caught the ball on the palm and it just kept going on through. I already had it jammed when I hit the ground," Hamilton said.

Reds manager Bryan Price expected Hamilton to be available to pinch-run while he's out of the lineup on a day-to-day basis. He will wear a guard over his left hand so his fingers aren't jammed further if he makes a headfirst slide.

"It's sore. It could limit some of the things he can do," Price said. "We're going to find out more when he spends more time with the training staff. I certainly know he is able to run."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon.
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