Rookie Clint Sammons homered and drove in three runs to lead Atlanta past the St. Louis Cardinals 9-4 on Thursday night, snapping the Braves’ five-game losing streak.
Sammons, who was called up from he minors Monday, picked up the first RBI of his fledgling big league career in the fourth, singling in a run that tied the game at 3.
Two innings later, he put the Braves ahead to stay with his first homer, a two-run shot over the wall in left that put the Braves ahead for good. Sammons added another hit in the eighth and scored the Braves’ final run.
Atlanta’s Omar Infante chipped in with three hits and two RBI, including a homer leading off the second.
St. Louis failed to complete a four-game sweep of the Braves and fell five games behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.
Mike Hampton got off to a shaky start in the second appearance of his comeback, giving up two-run double to Albert Pujols in the first.
The left-hander settled down and was actually in position for his first win since 2005 when his second RBI of the game gave the Braves a 4-3 lead. But Hampton couldn’t get through his final inning, surrendering a two-out, run-scoring single to Ryan Ludwick that knocked the Atlanta starter out of a decision.
Hampton, who missed the past two seasons and much of this one recovering from various injuries, gave up seven hits and four runs in five innings. He walked four and didn’t strike out anyone.
Jeff Bennett (2-4) picked up the win with two scoreless innings.
The Braves roughed up St. Louis starter Joel Pineiro (3-5) for 10 hits and six runs in six innings, then put it out of reach with two runs in the seventh off Kevin Jimenez. Mark Kotsay doubled in a run and Infante closed his big night with another RBI double into the left-field corner.
St. Louis was outhit 15-8 but came through in the clutch against Hampton. Pineiro drove in a run with a two-out double in the fourth, and Ludwick responded in the same situation.
Hampton came through with two outs in the second, doubling to the wall in right-center to make it 2-2. He drove in another run in the fourth by hustling to beat out a potential double-play grounder.|