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Freeman falls ill, exits finale early

First baseman hopes to regain strength for upcoming series vs. Dodgers
MLB.com @mlbbowman

ATLANTA -- Feeling nauseated as he slowly made his way back toward his locker following Wednesday afternoon's 8-2 loss to the Cubs at SunTrust Park, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman was still dealing with the effects of the likely virus that forced him to exit the game just a couple hours earlier.

Freeman felt sick before the first pitch was thrown, and he began feeling more dehydrated and sick as the game progressed. The slugger exited after striking out in the fourth inning. As he spent the remainder of the game in the clubhouse, he wasn't exactly looking forward to the cross-country flight to Los Angeles he and teammates were about to board.

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ATLANTA -- Feeling nauseated as he slowly made his way back toward his locker following Wednesday afternoon's 8-2 loss to the Cubs at SunTrust Park, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman was still dealing with the effects of the likely virus that forced him to exit the game just a couple hours earlier.

Freeman felt sick before the first pitch was thrown, and he began feeling more dehydrated and sick as the game progressed. The slugger exited after striking out in the fourth inning. As he spent the remainder of the game in the clubhouse, he wasn't exactly looking forward to the cross-country flight to Los Angeles he and teammates were about to board.

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"I don't know if he felt it a little bit before [the game] and thought he could get through it," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "It's nothing bad."

Freeman hopes to be in the Braves' lineup when they begin a key four-game series against the fiery-hot Dodgers on Thursday night. But his body language after Wednesday's game provided clear indication that he will need to regain a lot of strength and rid himself of the virus before doing so.

Freeman returned to the Braves' lineup on July 4 after missing seven weeks with a fractured left wrist. The 27-year-old veteran hit .400 with a 1.238 OPS over the first seven games played after being activated, but he has gone just 2-for-18 with seven strikeouts over his past five games.

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

Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman