Freddie Freeman said before Friday’s game that the Braves couldn’t wait any longer to get their offense going, that they had to start playing better now if they hoped to catch the Nationals.

He talked the talk, then he and the Braves walked the walk, smashing four homers in a 7-2, series-opening win against American League power Oakland, the team with the best record in baseball.

Freeman hit a three-run homer, Justin Upton and Evan Gattis had solo shots, and rookie Phil Gosselin added a two-run homer for the Braves who won for the fourth time in 16 games. It the second four-homer game on the homestand for the Braves, who’ve hit just two other homers in their past 14 games.

The level of run support amounted to overkill on a night when Braves starter Alex Wood (9-9) continued in his recent groove, allowing only four hits, two runs and three walks in six innings to give him a 2-1 record and 1.71 ERA in his past four starts.

“Obviously, it’s a big series,” Freeman said before the game. “We are six back of the Nationals (in the National League East standings). Everybody wants to say you can’t panic, but the time is now. We’ve got to go. We’ve got to start scoring some runs. Our pitching has been awesome all year. We have to take it as an offense to get going. … The time is now to see what our club is about.”

After piling up 12 strikeouts in his last start against the Nationals, Wood had had one strikeout against the Athletics. But he made big pitches when he needed them and retired the last eight batters he faced after giving up three consecutive hits to start the fourth inning, including a two-run homer by Nate Freiman that cut the lead to 5-2.