Sports Today: Reds back in 1st place, Bengals hit the field, Dayton Flyers find point guard

Billy Hamilton slides into third with a triple against the Giants on Sunday, May 7, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
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Billy Hamilton slides into third with a triple against the Giants on Sunday, May 7, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

Since last we visited this space, the Cincinnati Reds have won three games in a row.

They outscored the Giants 31-5 over the weekend, posting a .376 team batting average while holding San Francisco to .172.

How was your weekend?

While the offense broke out big time on Friday and Saturday, the performance of the pitching staff should not be overlooked.

Every member of the starting rotation has picked up a win during their five-game winning streak, though they’re still not exactly piling up the innings as a group.

Scott Feldman went the distance for a 4-0 shutout Sunday that propelled the Reds back into first place in the NL Central.

Next up is a visit from the New York Yankees, who beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 in 18 innings last night.

The Yankees overcame a blown save by Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning and this great catch by Kyle Schwarber.

There was a surprising move involving the Reds rotation, too, as Amir Garrett was sent down to Triple-A.

Manager Bryan Price said it was to limit his innings and take advantage of the schedule making it so they can get by with a four-man rotation.

However, Hal McCoy points out this is also likely a business decision as it limits how quickly Garrett will accumulate MLB service time (and thus how quickly he becomes eligible for arbitration and free agency).

That aspect can’t be ignored, but I do find some validity in Price’s talking about saving innings now because he’d rather have them in September.

Remember when the Nationals had to shut down Stephen Strasburg in a pennant race?

The Reds may not find themselves in that situation (and Strasburg’s situation was strictly about taking health precautions that rarely actually work), but it makes sense giving a guy some time off in the middle of the season rather than ending his season prematurely might be better for his arm…

While the Reds romped in Great American Ball Park, the Cincinnati Bengals put in work nearby at Paul Brown Stadium. 

First-round pick John Ross was unable to participate in field work during the team’s rookie minicamp as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but he talked at length about this goals and his athletic history, among other things.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Not all Bengals minicampers are created equally, as evidenced by the goals of first-round pick John Ross and undrafted Monty Madaris.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Ross expects to work at both flanker and in the slot early on, and he’s looking forward to being the type of piece that could put the offense over the top when it comes to explosiveness.

RELATED: Minicamp presents different situations for different players

Also of note: Ohio State receiver Corey Smith was among those in town on a tryout while a pair of Big Ten linebackers (one with a famous name) are hoping to make the team at a spot that could use a new look.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Corey Smith talks about his uphill battle to make it to the next level.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The player who would probably be my pick to be most likely to make an early impact, Auburn defensive end/linebacker Carl Lawson, entertained reporters with a story about injuring his dad practicing pass rush moves.

On the downside, coach Marvin Lewis indicated the Ross-Hamilton race will not be happening.

After the Reds center fielder entered the topic into public discourse, Ross didn’t sound all that enthusiastic about it, though he was probably genuinely focused on his first weekend as a professional football player.

RELATED: Lewis shoots down notion of Hamilton-Ross race 

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Bengals WR responds to the challenge from Reds CF Billy Hamilton to a race and talks about his long lost baseball career.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Dayton Flyers coach Anthony Grant scored a big win over the weekendgetting his first new recruit since returning to his alma mater.

Jalen Crutcher fills a crucial need at point guard for Grant’s first Flyers team.

RELATED: Grant talks about new PG

A 6-3 guard, Crutcher is a three-star prospect per 247sports. He is rated No. 314 overall, 51 spots below fellow-UD-signee Jordan Davis but ahead of the other two players in the class.

RELATED: Dayton Flyers seniors honored one more time at UD Arena 

He’s the No. 63 point guard in the 2017 class while McKinley Wright, the point guard who signed with previous coach Archie Miller but ultimately ended up at Colorado after Miller left, is No. 45.

(You could spin that difference either direction if you’re so inclined, but it’s probably negligible.)

Grant could still add two more players for next season…

On the national scene, the Cleveland Cavaliers closed out the Toronto Raptors for a four-game sweep while the Washington Wizards whipped the Boston Celtics to even that series at two games apiece.

The Rockets also squared their series by beating the Spurs in a game four.

In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Nashville is moving on after topping the Blues in Game 6 of their second-round series while the Oilers crushed the annually disappointing Ducks 7-1 to force a Game 7 in their series.

Then there’s John Daly, who not only picked up his first Champions Tour win but got a congratulations from none other than President Donald Trump.

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