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Glaus returns to action in G-Braves' win

LAWRENCEVILLE — Troy Glaus looked comfortable back at third base as he began his rehab assignment with Gwinnett on Monday night at Coolray Field.

It may take the full eight-game stay with the G-Braves to get back on track at the plate, though.

INSTANT REPLAY

G-Braves 5, Knights 2

What happened: Joe Thurston broke a tie with a bases-loaded triple in Gwinnett’s four-run seventh inning Monday night at Coolray Field as the G-Braves improved to 63-66 with the win over Charlotte (63-67).

The good: RHP Todd Redmond allowed just four hits over six scoreless innings in a no-decision, striking out six and walking one. He threw 98 pitches, 61 of them strikes.

The bad: LHP Lee Hyde committed a throwing error in the seventh inning which led the tying run and deprived Redmond of his 10th victory. Instead, Hyde got the gift victory.

Batting race: DH Barbaro Canizares was 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, his International League-leading average dropping to .330. 1B Freddie Freeman was 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and reached base four times while lifting his average to .313.

Odd schedule: The three-game home series with the Knights follows four games in Charlotte, meaning the teams are getting all too familiar with each other. The G-Braves won just one of the four games in Charlotte.

Back behind plate: After filling in at third base the previous two games in Charlotte, Clint Sammons returned to catching duties. Sammons hit a home run in the 10th inning Sunday as the G-Braves beat the Knights 10-8.

Up next: RHP Brandon Beachy (2-0, 2.89 ERA) will pitch for the G-Braves in today’s 7:05 p.m. game at Coolray Field. RHP Brandon Hynick (1-3, 6.64 ERA) is the scheduled starter for Charlotte. All games through Thursday are being televised on CSS.

Glaus struck out on three pitches each of his first two times up against Charlotte, leaving three runners stranded in scoring position.

The injury-plagued veteran walked his final two times at the plate in the G-Braves’ 5-2 victory, but it was in the field where he looked the most ready to return to Atlanta for the September stretch drive.

Glaus caught a soft liner to start a double play in the fifth inning and reached over the railing in front of the G-Braves dugout to catch a foul popup in the eighth.

“That’s the first time he’d been at third base in quite some time and there are going to be some cobwebs to get out of the way,” Gwinnett manager Dave Brundage said. “But it’s a position he had played all his life and he’s probably more comfortable over there than he is at first base.”

“I want to get out there and get as many reps as I can,” Glaus said of the move back across the diamond. “My legs feel good after the time off and I’m ready to get going.”

Atlanta placed Glaus on the disabled list when it acquired first baseman Derek Lee from the Cubs and wanted him to rest his sore left knee as long as needed before beginning a rehab assignment with the G-Braves.

“Five days was long enough,” Glaus said of the layoff.

Third base is where Glaus has played the most during his 13-year career in the majors and that is where he will be likely be the needed more now by the Braves with Lee on board in Atlanta.

“I’m comfortable there. That’s where I started,” Glaus said. “And I think third base is easier on my legs than first.”

Glaus, 34, led the Braves with 70 RBIs when he went on the DL and he had hit 16 homers. But most of that damage had been done in May and early June. He was hitting .175 with two homers and a .266 slugging percentage in his past 45 games for the Braves.

Coming off an injury-curtailed season with St. Louis, Glaus signed a contract as free agent over the winter that had a base salary of $2 million. He has already earned two bonuses of $350,000 and can earn a third with 34 more plate appearances with Braves.

Glaus, who has 320 career homers, is eligible to come off the DL on Sept. 2 — the day after major league rosters can be expanded. He will play with the G-Braves through the end of the homestand next Monday, then take a few days off.

“I know he wants the reps and he wants the at-bats,” Brundage said. “He’s going to get them as much as his body will allow it.

“I thought he had better swings the last two times up. Any time you take four or five days off, it takes a few at-bats to get comfortable again.”

Matt Young and Freddie Freeman each had two hits against Charlotte and Joe Thurston supplied the big blow with a bases-loaded triple in a four-run seventh inning that broke a tie. Young, who stole his 32nd base, reached three times. Freeman, who had two doubles and a RBI, was on base four times.

G-Braves starter Todd Redmond pitched six scoreless innings, but Lee Hyde gave up an unearned run on his own error to allow the Knights to tie the game in the seventh. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 21st save.