LAWRENCEVILLE — For the season, Clint Sammons has five home runs.
He’s hit two in the past six days.
Sammons hit the game-winner in extra innings at Charlotte on Aug. 22 and Saturday his two-run blast built a 4-0 G-Braves lead. The lead didn’t last when the G-Braves’ bullpen surrendered five runs in the seventh and eighth to end their winning streak at six games, falling 5-4 to Norfolk.
“That’s a tough way to lose a ballgame,” manager Dave Brundage said. “The good thing is it hasn’t happened very often and it happened with two of our most reliable relievers all season long.
“It’s something you don’t expect.”
The five runs came off relievers Michael Dunn, just down from Atlanta, and Stephen Marek, who won the award as the team’s best pitcher before the game.
For Sammons, the good night at the plate came early. The Parkview grad went 1-for-4 with three RBI in the game. He reached on an error in the second and two runs scored on the play. The home run came in the fourth. His three RBIs were the most for Sammons since he had three on June 3, 2009 at Rochester. He also threw out a runner at second in the fifth.
A loss by Columbus kept the G-Braves into 61⁄2 games back in the Wild Card chase.
The four runs off of Sammons’ bat were enough for starter Todd Redmond who left the game in line to pick up his team-best 10th win. That changed when Dunn and Marek combined to allow five runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Both gave up a home run.
For Redmond, it was his second consecutive start without allowing an earned run, the first time he’s put up back-to-back shutouts all season.
“He had good rhythm, good pace,” Brundage said of Redmond. “He pounded strike one throughout the night.”
This was Redmond’s fourth straight no-decision and he has not lost a start since July 25. His eight strikeouts were the third highest of the season.
Redmond didn’t allow a hit through 32⁄3 innings and the G-Braves lost the shutout when reliever Dunn, just down from Atlanta, gave up a solo home run to Norfolk’s Brandon Snyder in the seventh. Dunn only lasted 11⁄3 innings before Stephen Marek entered in the eighth and gave up a home run of his own as Norfolk scored four in the inning. Combined, Dunn and Marek gave up five run off four hits in two innings. Scott Proctor struck out two in perfect ninth.
Nate McLouth singled and stole second with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Matt Young, who was 3-for-4 on the night, flew out to end the game.
“Nate had a good at-bat, (Sammons) had a good at-bat,” Brundage said. “We gave ourselves a chance.”