For players and coaches, there’s nothing normal about the six-month grind of a baseball season.

It’s a barrage of pressure-packed games and endless flights with precious little downtime. But the Royals got the rare chance to relax as a group Monday night in Atlanta.

Right fielder Jeff Francoeur is an Atlanta native and still lives in Duluth, Ga., a suburb roughly 25 miles northeast of Georgia’s capital.

The Royals had an off day before starting an eight-game, three-city road trip tonight with the first of two games against the Braves, so Francoeur and his wife, Catie, invited the team to his house.

“We just built our house last year, so we’re going to have all the guys over for a little cookout and just have some fun,” Francoeur said. “It’s great when you get a chance to do that. I’ve gone to other guys’ houses when we’ve gone to their hometown, and it’s fun to see where they grew up and where they came from.”

It also provides a respite from baseball, however brief, as well as a chance for team bonding.

“When I was in Oakland, we did the same thing when we could,” infielder Miguel Tejada said. “It’s good because it brings us together and we are a family. It will help us do good this season.”

Returning to his roots remains a treat for Francoeur, but he hasn’t gotten many chances to play at home since moving to the American League.

Francoeur started his big-league career with the Braves midway through the 2005 season. The following year, he played in all 162 games, socking 29 home runs with 103 RBIs and helping the Braves to an NL East crown.