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Swanson starting to get his groove back

MLB.com @mlbbowman

BOSTON -- Though Dansby Swanson has felt fine since coming off the disabled list last week, he admits he's feeling even better now that this weekend's trip to Fenway Park has proven to be mentally therapeutic.

Aided by the confidence boost gained courtesy of the ninth-inning double he hit off Craig Kimbrel in Friday night's series-opening loss, Swanson produced a pair of hits -- including a two-run homer -- and created a few defensive gems as the Braves lost, 8-6, to the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon.

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BOSTON -- Though Dansby Swanson has felt fine since coming off the disabled list last week, he admits he's feeling even better now that this weekend's trip to Fenway Park has proven to be mentally therapeutic.

Aided by the confidence boost gained courtesy of the ninth-inning double he hit off Craig Kimbrel in Friday night's series-opening loss, Swanson produced a pair of hits -- including a two-run homer -- and created a few defensive gems as the Braves lost, 8-6, to the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon.

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"I think it just helps you breathe a little bit more, relax and really stay firm with your approach each time you go to the plate," Swanson said. "Back-to-back days we're getting back to where we need to be. Obviously, that is a good thing."

Swanson spent a little more than two weeks recovering from a sore left wrist before being activated from the disabled list on May 19. Two days later, he delivered a walk-off single that capped the thrilling six-run ninth-inning comeback against the Marlins.

But before drilling that ninth-inning double on Friday, Swanson was just 3-for-21 (.143) since being activated. Going back to back to April 19, he was hitting just .176 (12-for-68). Though he knew the initial wrist discomfort and reintroduction to game speed were influencing his struggles, he admittedly was getting frustrated.

"You can be feeling good, but you'd be lying if you said you didn't get frustrated or whatever when you don't necessarily see the results," Swanson said. "So, just seeing one fall or finding the barrel helps. Two weeks off, no matter how much you do, you still have to get back into it a little bit. I did as much as I could to bridge that gap. But I still have to finish it off. I feel like I'm really starting to get back to where I need to be."

Swanson gave the Braves a 2-0 lead on Saturday when he turned on Drew Pomeranz's inside fastball and watched it sail over the Green Monster The second-inning shot was his third home run of the season -- and first since April 18. He was sidelined from May 3-18 with the wrist discomfort that progressively got worse during the second half of April.

"That double [on Friday] night, I think was big for him," Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said. "It gave him confidence going into today."

Video: ATL@BOS: Swanson dives, throws to first to end 4th

Swanson also made his presence felt in the field, as he made an impressive stop on Mookie Betts' grounder to end the third inning and then ended the fourth by diving to his left to prevent Xander Bogaerts' sharp grounder from reaching the outfield grass.

"He played shortstop about as well as you can today," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "But his at-bats have also been a lot better."

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

Atlanta Braves, Dansby Swanson