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Freeman hits 2nd grand slam 2 days after 1st

Four-time All-Star had zero in first 1,383 career games
@mlbbowman
September 6, 2020

ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman ended the second-longest grand slam drought of his career by hitting his second in three days on Sunday. Freeman’s second grand slam in less than 48 hours combined with Josh Tomlin’s best start in more than two years to help the Braves get back on track

ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman ended the second-longest grand slam drought of his career by hitting his second in three days on Sunday.

Freeman’s second grand slam in less than 48 hours combined with Josh Tomlin’s best start in more than two years to help the Braves get back on track with a 10-3 win over the Nationals at Truist Park.

Box score

“It’s like they’re coming in bunches now maybe,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He goes all this time without one, and now he has two in one weekend.”

Tomlin surrendered one run over six innings and Marcell Ozuna continued his power barrage with a solo homer off Patrick Corbin in the fifth and a three-run double off reliever Dakota Bacus in the eighth. But as Atlanta snapped a two-game skid and secured a split in this four-game set, Freeman created the lasting memory with the grand slam he hit off rookie reliever Kyle Finnegan.

Freeman went through 104 career plate appearances with the bases loaded before hitting his first grand slam in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader against the Nationals. He now has homered in two of his past three plate appearances with the bases loaded, after also flying out to left field to end the fourth inning with the bases full.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Freeman said. “It took me 10 years to finally hit one, and then two days later, I hit another one. Maybe it is true what they say about the flood gates opening.”

Freeman’s opposite-field homer off Finnegan (which traveled a Statcast-projected 421 feet) only enhances the oddity of the slam he hit against Washington reliever Tanner Rainey during Friday night’s loss. Freeman had totaled 232 home runs before hitting that grand slam off Rainey. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Sammy Sosa (246) was the only player in MLB history to hit more homers before hitting his first grand slam.

Freeman’s wife Chelsea reacted to this latest slam by tweeting, “I guess everything comes in twos now.” The couple recently announced that Chelsea is pregnant with twin boys, who are due to enter this world during the early part of 2021.

“That’s a pretty good tweet,” Freeman said. “She’s got a sense of humor. That’s another reason why I love her. If I hit another one tomorrow, maybe there’s something hiding. We’ll just say that’s for us having three kids. Only two of them are coming.”

This has been an impressive stretch for Freeman, who has hit .378 with five homers and a 1.158 OPS over his past 25 games. The four-time All-Star slumbered through the season’s first couple weeks as he attempted to regain the timing and energy he lost while battling COVID-19 in July.

Now, the Braves can look forward to seeing what the rest of this season brings for Freeman and Ozuna, who has hit .485 with five homers and a 1.613 OPS over his past eight games. Ozuna’s seventh-inning double immediately followed a 14-pitch walk that Freeman drew against Bacus.

Freeman fell behind 0-2 against Bacus, who threw 10 sliders, two curveballs and two sinkers during the battle.

“I knew he liked throwing a lot of sliders, but I just kept fouling them off because I didn’t know if he was going to try to sneak a heater by me,” Freeman said. “Looking back, I wish I’d have sat on the slider, because I’d have had a couple to hit. But I’ll take it and give it up for the National League Player of the Week, Marcell Ozuna.

“If that doesn’t happen for him, I don’t know what else you can do to win that award, because it was a pretty spectacular week for Marcell.”

It was also a pretty memorable weekend for Freeman.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.