Freeman homers as Braves strike again in 1st

May 5th, 2018

ATLANTA -- It didn't take long to get a taste of how much he might enjoy being part of the dynamic, high-powered Braves lineup that has habitually tallied first-inning runs throughout this season.

Freddie Freeman extended this trend when he drilled an opposite-field, two-run homer off Chris Stratton in the Braves' 9-4 loss to the Giants at SunTrust Park on Friday.

Bautista got into the act two batters later when he doubled off the center-field wall in his first plate appearance of the season. The 37-year-old veteran was promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett earlier in the day to begin his tenure as a third baseman and additional power source for a Braves team that entered Friday having tallied at least 22 more runs than any other National League team.

With Freeman's fifth homer of the season, the Braves have now scored a Major League-best 34 first-inning runs. The Nationals rank second with 33 first-inning runs, three of which were tallied on Friday night.

The Braves also lead the Majors with a .371 batting average during the first inning. The Nationals and Royals were the only other clubs that entered Friday with a first-inning batting average above .300.

Freeman's two-run shot was the 10th home run the Braves have hit in the first inning, matching the Rockies and Nationals for the most belted during the opening frame.