G-Braves Redmond goes seven innings for second straight win

Photo by Ben Beitzel

Photo by Ben Beitzel

LAWRENCEVILLE -- If Todd Redmond's lacked anything in his first two years in Gwinnett's it was consistency.

He could throw a no-hitter, and did once, or he could turn in back-to-back three inning outings allowing more than five runs. He did that, too. But this year the extremes, especially the lows are missing from Redmond's outings.

His worst outing lasted just four innings and he gave up eight runs, but the next time out, the right-hander lasted seven innings and allowed one run off six hits. That was June 29. Since July he has just one loss, a complete game and entering Saturday his August ERA was 1.93 in two starts.

That ERA didn't get any worse during his 24th start.

The 26-year-old tossed his third straight seven inning game, allowing one run off five hits, striking out six and walking just two. The outing also earned Redmond his fourth win in seven starts in the Gwinnett Braves 4-2 win over Pawtucket.

"He competes so well," G-Braves manager Dave Brundage said. "This has been his most consistent year.

"He can pitch in the big leagues the way he is pitching right now."

A 111 to 35 strikeout to walk ratio is good even for Redmond who doesn't put many guys on base for free, and Brundage said the biggest difference is his consistency of pitches in and around the strike zone. There are fewer balls way inside or outside.

Pitching coach Marty Reed said the biggest thing for Redmond this season has been staying in shape.

"He's finally dedicated himself to staying in shape," Reed said. "If he does that consistently he can pitch in the big leagues. If he doesn't, he'll have years like he did the last couple."

The only trouble Redmond found Saturday came in the second inning when he loaded the bases with no outs. But he coaxed a run-scoring double play and another ground out to escape with the only run he allowed. From there, here allowed four more baserunners over the next five innings.

"That's him," Brundage said of Redmond working out of the trouble.

And the G-Braves' bats backed him up.

Stefan Gartrell singled with two outs in the first to get the G-Braves on the board, scoring Matt Young. It was Gartrell's 80th RBI of the season as he tries to keep pace with Scranton/Wilke-Barre Yankees Jorge Vazquez who entered Saturday leading the league with 82.

Rehabbing big-league catcher Brian McCann led the fourth inning off with a blast to right-center field to break a 1-1 tie. Two pitches earlier the six-time All-Star catcher blasted a towering foul ball well past the right field poll and he needed just one more pitch to straighten the power out.

"I wasn't worried about my bat coming here," McCann said.

Gwinnett added a second run in the frame on a fielder's choice RBI by Wilkin Ramirez. Ramirez grounded to shortstop who caugh Mauro Gomez off second base for the out. Gartrell scored on the play.

Ramirez knocked in his final run of the game with a double in the sixth inning to score Gomez.

Gomez ended the night 3-for-4 with a run scored.

Stephen Shell pitched a perfect eighth for his second consecutive scoreless outing. Cory Gearrin picked up his third save in a shaky ninth, allowing one run and walking a batter in a two-hit inning. The first out of the inning came on the G-Braves home highlight of the season when Ruben Gotay took a ground ball running to his right and tossed it from his glove to shortstop Tyler Pastornicky who threw the runner out at first.

"That something you don't see everyday," Brundage said. "I am not big on flashy but that was our best chance to get an out.