Hamilton scored three times in the first three innings to help Cincinnati open a huge lead, and the Reds held on for an 11-7 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night.
The Reds sent 10 batters to the plate for five runs and a 9-1 lead in the third inning, when Mike Pelfrey (5-5) failed to retire any of the four batters he faced. And Hamilton got it all started.
''Obviously his speed is a game-changer,'' Pelfrey said.
It wasn't only Hamilton. Pelfrey gave up eight runs - matching his season high - and nine hits along with three walks. He retired only six of 17 batters in his shortest start since May 21, 2013 at Atlanta.
''Your goal is to attack, attack, attack,'' Pelfrey said. ''I got away from that. I got away from a lot of things that made me successful to date. I got my butt kicked.''
Cincinnati's Mike Leake let most of the lead slip away. Ten Twins batted during a six-run rally in the top of the fourth inning. Brian Dozier's three-run homer off Leake cut it to 9-7, and the Twins thought they had a chance.
''We made a nice little rally there against Leake, tried to make it interesting,'' manager Paul Molitor said. ''The offense sputtered from there. It wasn't much fun to watch.''
Nate Adcock (1-1) got the victory with two scoreless innings after Leake exited. Cincinnati's bullpen did not allow a hit in five innings of relief.
The Twins haven't overcome an eight-run deficit to win a game since 1929, when they were the Washington Senators, according to STATS. They couldn't pull it off on Monday as the Reds matched their season high with 17 hits.
Every Cincinnati position player had at least one hit, and seven different players scored. The Reds had at least one hit in each inning.
Hamilton reached in each of his first four plate appearances on a pair of infield singles and two walks. He stole four bases - giving him a major league-leading 40 for the season - and scored three times.
Pelfrey is 2-4 with a 5.95 ERA on the road. At home, he's 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA.
AGAINST THAT OTHER LEAGUE
The Twins are 7-9 in interleague play this season. The Reds are 4-8.
HICKS NEEDS MORE TIME
OF Aaron Hicks isn't close to returning from a rehab assignment. He's been sidelined since June 13 by a strained right forearm.
''After not playing for a while, I think we'd all agree that he needs to be there a little longer,'' Molitor said. ''How long? We haven't determined that yet.''
Twins: RHP Ricky Nolasco will see another specialist about his sore right ankle, which has sidelined him since the start of June.
Reds: C Devin Mesoraco had surgery on his left hip Monday as planned. He's been on the disabled list since June 25. ... 2B Brandon Phillips was out of the lineup with two sore hands. ... RHP Raisel Iglesias, sidelined since June 5 by a strained oblique, will begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday.
Twins: Phil Hughes (6-6) makes his first career appearance against the Reds. He's 9-4 in interleague play with a 3.82 ERA.
Reds: Anthony DeSclafani (5-5) makes his first appearance against the Twins. He has given up seven runs in 11 innings during his last two starts.
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