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Hamilton remains out with injured finger

NEW YORK -- Reds leadoff hitter and center fielder Billy Hamilton was given another day out of the lineup on Sunday because of a jammed left middle finger. But the prognosis was optimistic that Hamilton would not be out much longer.

"It's a lot better today," Hamilton said. "The swelling has gone down."

Chris Heisey led off and started in place of Hamilton for the series finale against the Mets.

Hamilton was a pinch-runner when he was injured trying to steal second base on a headfirst slide during Friday's 4-3 loss to the Mets. He was able to play defense in the ninth inning of Saturday's 6-3 loss.

"I didn't get a ball hit to me. But when I was catching and throwing, I could still feel it," Hamilton said. "I was able to squeeze the glove, enough if I had to make a play."

Hitting remains the primary issue at this point.

"It bothers me more batting right-handed than it does left-handed," Hamilton said. "If I had to bat yesterday, it would have been left-handed."

Reds manager Bryan Price felt that it was possible for Hamilton to be back in the lineup on Monday afternoon, when the team opens a three-game series at St. Louis.

"He's had great improvement overnight," Price said. "It's a day-to-day thing. We have to be confident he's comfortable swinging the bat and doing all of the things he needs to do."

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