Albies slams Mets as Braves roll in opener


Before Saturday’s game at Dodger Stadium, Braves slugger Freddie Freeman talked about Ozzie Albies’ slump and how sure Freeman and other Braves were that the diminutive, dynamic second baseman would bust out of it soon.

“Ozzie’s obviously not playing the way he played in the beginning, but he goes up there and you still think he’s going to get a hit or a home run every single time,” Freeman said Saturday.

» More: Ronald Acuna itching to return

Albies and Freeman each homered Sunday in a loss, but when they both hit homers again Tuesday against the Mets, they made them count, with Freeman leading off a six-run sixth inning and Albies capping it with a grand slam to propel the Braves to an 8-2 win at SunTrust Park.

“I’m feeling a lot better,” Albies said after hitting his team-high 16th homer and second grand slam of the season.

“That’s baseball, man, you’ve just got to fight through it.”

Mike Foltynewicz pitched five scoreless innings of  two-hit ball for the Braves before leaving with right triceps tightness, a move the Braves said was precautionary. “Folty” expects to make his next start in one week.

The Braves trailed 2-1 before the sixth inning, when Freeman led off with a homer against starter Zack Wheeler and Albies capped a six-run outburst with a grand slam off right-hander Paul Sewald, taking him deep on the third pitch Sewald threw after entering the game, a 90-mph fastball.

Albies also hit a grand slam May 10 against Marlins right-hander Drew Steckenrider. He’s the first Braves player with multiple grand slams in a season since Brian McCann in 2012 and the first 21-or-under major leaguer to hit multiple slams in a season since Adrian Beltre hit two for the Dodgers in 2000.

Before homering in Sunday’s series-finale loss at Los Angeles, Albies had batted just .162 with a .431 OPS in 74 at-bats during a 17-game homerless streak since May 23.

“I feel much better, I just had to slow the game down again,” said the Braves’ pocket Hercules of a leadoff man.

Freeman’s homer off Wheeler was his 13th of the season and fourth in six games.


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