7/22/2014 12:43 A.M. ET
Hamilton not worried about cold bat post-break
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Members of the Reds have often told rookie leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton that they go as he goes. But in the three games vs. the Yankees, and for the first time in a long while, Hamilton didn't go too well.
In those three games, the first coming out of the All-Star break, Hamilton went 1-for-12 with a double, one steal, no walks and no runs scored. Cincinnati scored only six runs in the three straight losses.
"I still feel comfortable right now, and it's all good. I had a bad series," Hamilton said on Monday before the Reds opened a series vs. the Brewers. "Everybody is going to have a bad series. You're not going to be good every series. Stuff happens."
Hamilton, who batted .341 with a .373 on-base percentage from June 10 to July 13 before the four-day All-Star break, popped up several balls vs. New York.
Manager Bryan Price would like to see him hit the ball more on the ground and use his speed.
"He's like everybody else. He's going to run that tide of hot and cold and in between over the course of the season," Price said. "When he gets on base, he wreaks havoc and gets our guys better pitches to hit. He can confound a defense, but we can't put all the onus on him to be the reason that we're successful offensively. We have to put more balls in play, and have more productive at-bats."
Hamilton certainly wasn't the only hitter who struggled vs. the Yankees.
"After the All-Star break, being off for four days, there are not many hitters that can just come back and be hot right away," Hamilton said. "It's just timing, that's all it is."
Hamilton led off the sixth inning of the Reds' 5-2 loss to the Brewers by sending a 95-mph first-pitch fastball from Wily Peralta over the right-field wall for his sixth home run of the season. His last four long balls have all come vs. the Brewers.
Phillips' recovery takes big step forward
MILWAUKEE -- The lengthy recovery process for injured second baseman Brandon Phillips took a step forward on Monday. Phillips, who underwent surgery on July 11 to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb, began working out in Cincinnati.
"He was able to throw. Obviously, he was not able to catch the ball," manager Bryan Price said. "And he's able to do some movement with his hand a lot more comfortably. It's still on schedule but still a ways away."
Phillips was expected to miss a minimum of six weeks following the surgery.
First baseman Joey Votto, on the disabled list with a distal strain of his left quadriceps, underwent the second of two rounds of platelet-rich plasma injections on Monday.
"That is a part of his recovery," Price said. "There's a couple of days of ... I don't want to say total inactivity, but resting it and not doing a lot on the knee and then returning to his rehab protocol. It's a good thing, because it's a part of his recovery that we think is going to be very effective."
• In being swept by the Yankees, the Reds lost their first series immediately after the All-Star break for the first time since 2007. They had gone 4-0-2 in the previous six series coming out of the break.