‘Amazing’ moment for Braves rookie Swanson


Freddie Freeman is the homegrown Braves star so his two home runs on Monday were not unexpected. Dansby Swanson is billed as the next big thing but he’d been struggling to produce, so what he did was a nice, new moment for the rookie.

Swanson hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Padres 5-4 at SunTrust Park. That sent his teammates into a frenzy that culminated with them mobbing Swanson on the field and dousing him with water.

“Amazing,” Swanson said. “The hit was great, and the fact we won was great, but seeing how happy they were was almost even better. Everybody was so extremely happy. It was awesome. It makes me smile.”

Swanson, a Marietta High product, produced good numbers over 38 games in 2016 but was off to a slow start this season. He was 7-for-48 (.146) over his first 11 games with 12 strikeouts and two walks.

Swanson was 0-for-4 against the Padres on Monday before his big hit against reliever Brandon Maurer. Even that wasn’t easy: Padres left fielder Allen Cordoba nearly made a diving catch.

“Sometimes it just feels like you can’t hit it away from them,” Swanson said. “My dad, we were eating dinner last night for Easter, and he says, ‘They’ve been playing there for 100 years. Hit it somewhere else.’

“It’s just one of those things you’ve got to stay consistent with what you are doing. (Hitting coach Brian) Seitzer is really, really good in making sure I stay within myself and every day we are working to stay with that I do best and hopefully that will put me where I need me to be.”

The Braves acquired Swanson in a trade with the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Swanson, 23, is a former No. 1 overall draft pick and the top-rated Braves prospect (he maintained his rookie status after last season).

All of that creates high expectations for Swanson. He said he’s kept a positive attitude even as some well-hit balls didn’t find space but he said the walk-off is a result that should help him.

“A lot of confidence,” Swanson said. “Any time that you can get a hit at that point in the game it definitely gets the juices flowing a little bit and gets you going in the right direction. But tomorrow is a new day and you’ve got to come back and do it again.”



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