The Braves once played in the National League West, and Freddie Freeman probably wishes they still did, except for the flights. He’s done more damage per at-bat against Arizona and Colorado than any other team, and over the weekend the Diamondbacks absorbed more blows from the bat of the big first baseman. Freeman’s three-run homer in the third inning broke open a tied game and sent the Braves to a 6-2 win Sunday that clinched a three-game sweep of the West-leading Diamondbacks at Turner Field, where the Braves have won 20 of their past 26 and have a majors-best 28-11 home record. Paul Maholm (9-6) pitched 6-2/3 solid innings and Brian McCann and Dan Uggla also homered for the Braves, who are 15-1 when they’ve hit three or more homers. The big-swinging Braves are 44-9 in all games in which they’ve hit at least one homer, and 4-25 when homerless. “We played a great game today,” Freeman said. “Paul pitched great, and Danny and Mac and I got some big home runs. It’s always nice when you win the first two games of the series to go out there and get on them early, hopefully knock them down early, and that’s what we did.” They maintained their majors-best 6-1/2-game lead over second-place Washington in the East, and have a day off Monday before a three-game home series against the Marlins. Then it’ll be on to Philadelphia and Miami for the Braves, who’ve lost 15 of their past 23 road games. Maholm allowed two runs and eight hits for his fifth win in seven home starts, walking two and striking out three. The veteran has a 1.93 ERA in seven home starts, compared with a 5.09 ERA in 10 road starts. The home-road dichotomy has been the rule for most Braves pitchers and hitters including Freeman, who has eight of his nine homers at home, including two in the past two games against the Diamondbacks. He also doubled Sunday. “He continues swinging a hot bat,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said, “and I think with McCann behind him now, and starting to see the old McCann, it’s going to be more difficult for other teams to navigate around him like we saw against the Mets (who walked Freeman repeatedly).” Freeman has hit more than 50 points higher at home than on the road, with a slugging percentage more than 100 points higher. But it’s never mattered against the Diamondbacks, for he pillages Arizona pitching in Atlanta or Phoenix.
Freeman’s 3-run homer sends Braves to sweep of Dbacks
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Jul 1