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CINCINNATI -- Homer Bailey pitched seven scoreless innings, and Billy Hamilton stole his first career base and scored the go-ahead run in his much-anticipated major league debut, lifting the Cincinnati Reds to a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.

Bailey (10-10) allowed just two hits, walked one and struck out eight. He retired the final 14 batters he faced, seven via strikeout.

Cincinnati (78-61) defeated St. Louis for the third straight time while both teams chase the first-place Pittsburgh Pirates in a tight National League Central race.

Cardinals starter Michael Wacha pitched six scoreless innings, giving up just three hits with two walks and three strikeouts. He exited the game after 80 pitches.

With the game still scoreless in the seventh, Ryan Ludwick singled off Seth Maness (5-2). Hamilton, the club's top-ranked prospect who stole 75 bases this season to lead all Triple-A players, entered the game as a pinch runner to a standing ovation.

Hamilton promptly stole second just ahead of Yadier Molina's throw, and moments later raced home on Todd Frazier's double to left field.

The Cardinals (79-59) managed just two hits, both by Matt Carpenter.

Aroldis Chapman struck out Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday and Allen Craig in succession in the ninth to earn his 34th save.

Bailey gave up a hit and a walk during a 19-pitch first inning. The Cardinals had runners on first and second with no outs, but Craig grounded into an inning-ending double play.

NOTES: Wacha, who was recalled from Double-A Springfield on Tuesday, last faced the Reds on Aug. 28, striking out seven in four innings of relief. ... Cardinals C Yadier Molina returned to the starting lineup after leaving Monday's game following the fifth inning due to left wrist soreness. ... Cardinals RF Carlos Beltran was back in the lineup as well after missing two straight games with back spasms. .. Reds LHP Tony Cingrani, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 25 with a lower back strain, threw a successful bullpen session Tuesday. He is expected to be reinstated to start Thursday's series finale against St. Louis. ... The Cardinals expanded their roster. They recalled LHP Tyler Lyons and RHP Carlos Martinez from Springfield, called up INFs Ryan Jackson and Brock Peterson from Triple-A Memphis, and purchased the contract of C Audry Perez from Memphis. ... Cincinnati recalled RHP Nick Christiani from Triple-A Louisville.
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