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problem with the knee is there is not an insignificant

CINCINNATI, Ohio -- The dirt-smudged base leaned on the floor in front of Billy Hamiltons locker. Hydro Flask 32 Oz Wide Mouth Straw Lid . An inscription in black ink noted the importance: "MLB Debut 9/3/13." Some debut! The speedy outfielder who outran everything in the minors got his first stolen base in the majors on Tuesday night, and it decided a game with playoff implications. Hamilton swiped second and came around on Todd Fraziers double in the seventh inning, sending the Cincinnati Reds to a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. "Thats my job -- stealing in important situations," said Hamilton, who had brown dirt on both knees from his hard slide into that keepsake base. "This was a real big situation -- a pennant race." Hamilton set a professional record by swiping 155 bases in the minors last year. He got an ovation when he made his big league debut as a pinch runner for Ryan Ludwick, who led off the seventh with a single against Seth Maness (5-2). As he went onto the field, manager Dusty Baker had a word. "He said, I need you to get to second base," Hamilton said. "I was like, OK, I got you." The 20,219 fans in the stands and everyone on the field and in the dugouts knew what was coming. Hamilton was about to test one of the toughest catchers in the game. Could he outrun catcher Yadier Molinas throw? "We knew that this guys electric," said Frazier, who was at bat. "I didnt even know he was going. I saw it out of the corner of my eye and said, Here we go, heres the challenge." After Maness threw to first three times, Hamilton took off and beat an off-target throw from Molina, who rushed a bit. "That guys the best," Baker said. "Hell throw you out. He was close to throwing Billy out there. The throw was a little high and wide. Thats what happens when you have speed." The Cardinals had watched video of Hamilton to get ready for his debut. "He was just another baserunner," Maness said. "We know hes fast, but you treat him no different. Get the ball to the plate quick and make the throw. "It was a bang-bang play. Thats baseball." Hamilton scored easily on Fraziers hit and got congratulatory slaps in the dugout. "It was like we won the World Series there," Hamilton said. Homer Bailey (10-10) allowed only two hits in seven innings, retiring his last 14 batters. Aroldis Chapman threw four pitches that registered 103 mph while fanning the heart of the Cardinals order in the ninth for his 34th save in 39 chances, completing the two-hitter. The Cardinals were shut out for the third time in their last six games. By taking the first two in the four-game series, the Reds snapped the Cardinals streak of winning seven straight series between the NL Central rivals. St. Louis is 10-7 against Cincinnati this season. The head-to-head opportunities are dwindling. Second-place St. Louis is a game and a half ahead of Cincinnati. The Cardinals host the division-leading Pirates for three games next weekend, completing their season series. The Reds play Pittsburgh six times in their last nine games. The trio has been in a tight pack atop the division most of the season. Currently, all three are in position to make the playoffs. And now, the Reds have a new way to win a close game. "Watching Billy run -- I can watch that every day," Frazier said. They considered calling up the 22-year-old Hamilton last September, but decided he wasnt ready. A year later, he made good on his first steal attempt and decided a game full of tough pitching and sensational defence. Michael Wacha, the Cardinals top draft pick last year out of Texas A&M, made his fifth career start and blanked the Reds on three hits through six innings. The Cardinals lineup was back to full strength. Carlos Beltran was back in right field after missing two games with a sore back. Molina was back in the lineup after leaving Mondays game with a sore left wrist. Bailey is in a good stretch, winning his last five decisions. He held the Cardinals to five hits over 7 1-3 innings during a 10-0 win in St. Louis last Wednesday. Bailey escaped an early threat. Matt Carpenter opened the game with a single, and Bailey walked Beltran on four pitches, bringing up Matt Holliday. The left fielder has a .375 career average against Bailey, but struck out swinging. Allen Craig grounded into a double play. Defence had a lot to do with keeping this one close. No surprise there -- St. Louis has the fewest errors in the NL, Cincinnati the third-fewest. NOTES: The Cardinals called up RHP Carlos Martinez, LHP Tyler Lyons, INF Ryan Jackson, INF Brock Peterson and C Audry Perez. ... Baker said LHP Tony Cingrani will start the final game of the series on Thursday. RHP Greg Reynolds replaced Cingrani when he went on the DL with a sore back and was on turn to start. Baker said Reynolds will be ready if Cingrani has problems. ... Reds RHP Bronson Arroyo (13-10) starts Wednesdays game against RHP Shelby Miller (12-9). Arroyo is 0-3 in four starts against the Cardinals this season and 8-16 for his career. 12 Oz Hydro Flask Kids . She was a pioneer. She did things on skis that made the birds take notice. 24 Oz Standard Mouth Hydro Flask . To be fair, the celebrations are already anything but tame. Nerf ball tricks shots are just the tip of the iceberg for a group that has performed in zero gravity, faced pro-skateboarder Rob Dyrdek and an assembled team on the MTV series "Fantasy Factory", and even hit a basketball trick shot from a passing blimp.Less than two weeks after reconstructive right knee surgery in February 2013, Lindsey Vonn already was sounding a positive note, saying she was "really looking forward to Sochi" and defending her Olympic downhill gold medal. Along the way to the next Winter Games, though, Vonn began facing more setbacks. As shed move past one, another would surface. In the end, it was too much, even for Vonn, the most accomplished U.S. ski racer in history. Expected to be one of the biggest stars at the upcoming Games, Vonn announced Tuesday -- exactly one month before the opening ceremony -- she wont be able to race in Russia. In a Facebook posting, Vonn said she is "devastated" to miss the Olympics, "but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level." Her personal publicist, Lewis Kay, said in a statement the 29-year-old from Vail, Colo., will have knee surgery again "shortly." Like many in her risk-filled sport, Vonn has dealt with injuries often, particularly at major events. She withdrew midway through the 2011 world championships because of a concussion. She raced with a severely bruised shin at the last Olympics. She skipped a race at the 2009 worlds after slicing her thumb open on a champagne bottle. She hurt her knee in training and missed a pair of races at the 2007 worlds. She took a scary fall during training at the 2006 Olympics, then left the hospital to compete. "Shes come back. Shell be back," Vonns father, Alan Kildow, said in a telephone interview. "Youll see a lot of Lindsey Vonn in the future." Vonn left the 2010 Vancouver Games with two medals: the first Olympic downhill gold for an American woman, and a bronze in the super-G. She is also a four-time overall World Cup champion, by far the most recognized name in Alpine skiing at the moment -- and, as it happens, the girlfriend of Tiger Woods. Add it all up, and she would have been the focus of plenty of media coverage in Sochi, certainly a main character in NBCs coverage for a U.S. audience. "Lindsey gives you great promotional value, and shes an amazing athlete and an amazing story," said Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics. "But there are amazing athletes that are going to be in Sochi, many of which we know, some of which we havent identified yet." To those in the world of skiing, theres no doubt about the sports most important athlete of late. "Without Lindsey Vonn, the races are just not the same," Canadian womens Alpine coach Hugues Ansermoz said last month. "She just attracts so much interest. When Lindsey Vonn is here, there are more people coming to watch the race, there is more interest on TV, more journalists are interested. And her relationship with Tiger Woods makes even more people interested." But Vonn has rarely been present on the elite skiing circuit the past 12 months. She tore two ligaments in her right knee and broke a bone in that leg during a high-speed crash at the world championships last February. As Vonn neared a return, she re-tore her surgically repaired ACL in a crash during training in November. After finishing 40th, 11th and fifth in a trio of World Cup races at Lake Louise, Alberta, in early December, Vonn sprained her MCL during a downhill at Val dIsere, France, two weeks later. Hydro Flask Coffee 16 Oz. "I did everything I possibly could to somehow get strong enough to overcome having no ACL," Vonn said Tuesday via Facebook. "Im having surgery soon so that I can be ready for the World Championships at home in Vail next February," she wrote. "On a positive note, this means there will be an additional spot so that one of my teammates can go for gold." Mikaela Shiffrin, the reigning world champion in slalom, and Julia Mancuso, a three-time Olympic medallist , will now draw extra attention as American women trying to reach the Alpine skiing podium in Sochi. Top skiers from other countries who will be favoured for medals include Germanys Maria Hoefl-Riesch, Switzerlands Lara Gut, Slovenias Tina Maze and Liechtensteins Tina Weirather. Shiffrin, the U.S. teenager labeled the "next Vonn" by some, wrote on Twitter that its "hard to swallow" that Vonn wont be competing in Sochi. Another American racer, Stacey Cook, posted on Facebook: "Our team is not the same without you. You leave big shoes to fill." After skiing in two downhills and a super-G at Lake Louise last month, Vonn sounded optimistic, declaring she would be in Sochi, "fighting for my medal." But shortly thereafter in France -- with Woods watching in the finish area -- Vonn lost her balance. Her left ski lifted, forcing weight onto her right knee. She grimaced, then clutched that leg. Kay said Tuesday an MRI "showed an MCL sprain, which coupled with the torn ACL, has made it impossible to stabilize her knee and be ready to safely ski again next month." Now Vonn will turn her attention to the 2015 world championships in Colorado. Theres also this: She needs three wins to match the World Cup record of 62 race victories set by Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria. "I have every ounce of confidence that Lindsey will be in the starting gate next World Cup season, ready to compete," said Bill Marolt, the CEO and president of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. "She knows the hard work it takes to get to the top and still has significant goals to achieve in what has been an incredible career." U.S. racers captured eight Alpine medals four years ago, their highest total at any Olympics and twice as many as any other country at Vancouver. That figure may be tough to reach with Vonn sidelined and Bode Miller, who won three medals in 2010, trying to return to form at age 36 after left knee surgery. Whats more, Mancuso has been struggling this season. Off to a poor start in pre-Olympic races, Mancuso recently headed home for a short break. "We have a strong team that is well prepared. ... Now is the time for those athletes to step up," Marolt said. Vonn, meanwhile, will go through another operation, another rehab, another road back. "You need to look at the long run. The problem with the knee is there is not an insignificant risk that youre going to do more long-term damage that cant be repaired," said Kildow, her father. "So have it repaired now. So you can compete in future years. So you can ski and enjoy yourself after you get done competing." ' ' '
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