Braves slugger Freddie Freeeman accepted an invitation to participate in next week’s Home Run Derby. (Video by David O’Brien)

Braves quotes after Wednesday’s 9-5 win over Blue Jays

Braves quotes after Wednesday’s 9-5 win over the Blue Jays.

**OZZIE ALBIES

On how it felt hitting two homers with his mom in the stands from Curacao (she arrived night before)

“It feels amazing with her here because she told me before I left Curacao, she wanted 20 (homers) from me this year. It happened right in front of her, she saw it live. So I’m happy it happened today.”

On getting 20 before the All-Star break

“I’m happy, and hopefully they keep coming.”

Surprised at all by what you’ve done, 20 homers before All-Star break? Andruw was the last to do that for Braves

“Probably a Curacao thing, I guess. No, like I say, I’m just trying to see the ball and put my barrel on it. It’s flying. I’m feeling great.”

You upset you don’t get to be in the Home Run Derby and Freddie is?

“Not upset. They asked me if I wanted to participated. I said yes, but I guess I didn’t make it. (Laughs).”

You going to give Freddie any pointers?

“Of course. I’m going to be cheering for him, bring him Gatorade if he needs it. I’m going to be ready to watch that happen.”

On picking up Foltynewicz after he’s pitched so well all season

“Amazing what he’s done for our team this year. It’s nice when we just keep putting together good ABs and bringing the ‘W’ for him and the team.”

On having time for All-Star selection to sink in for a few days

“Every day when I wake up I’m like, ‘whew.’ Everybody tells me, ‘You’re an All-Star, you’re an All-Star.’ And I feel happy. It was one of my goals. Thank God that it happened.”

**FREDDIE FREEMAN

Immediate thought on being in next week’s Home Run Derby

“I got asked about a week ago, while I was in St. Louis. My dad was there, kinda talked to him about it. I kinda went back and forth becasue I’ve always always heard of the ‘you don’t do well in the second half’ deal, this and that. I think that’s just all words. My dad said it’d be kinda fun to watch, so that was my ultimate decision when my dad said he’d like to see me in it.”

On whether he’s always wanted to participate:

“I think everybody, when you’re a kid, to say you’ve competed in a home run derby is a pretty cool thing. We’ll see how I do, but I’m looking forward to it.”

On Home Run Derby first-round matchup with Harper:

“I might have sent a text early today to him, starting to trash talk him. It should be fun. I’m hoping the fans are too excited for him and he gets nervous and hits zero homers. We’ll see what happens.”

On Albies’ performance:

“These last 15, 16, 17 games have been pretty unbelievable to watch, what he’s doing from the left and right side of the plate. It’s pretty special. He’s doing it night in, night out. Every single night he’s helping us win a ballgame. It’s been fun to watch. Hopefully he can continue that this weekend because we’re going to need him.”

On sequence with Swanson’s 10-pitch single in the big inning:

“Sometimes, you get overlooked with all the hits we got in the inning, but to get that inning started with Dansby’s (hit). Folty doing the little things as a pitcher needs to do, and next thing you know we real off a lot of hits and chase the starter. That was a big at-bat, and we were able to string some hits together.”

On how he got foot under catcher’s mitt on slide:

“Don’t know. I wish I got my hand out of there, but I think I told (Tim) Leiper — the (Blue Jays) first base coach — that it was pure luck. I saw (Ron Washington) was waving me, I was like ‘Oh, no.’ The parachute’s already out, so I’ve got to somehow get to home plate. I was going to try to do the tackle, like a did a couple weeks ago. That didn’t work well, so I had to do something else.”

On offensive breakout:

“It was good to see. I said earlier, we were kind of struggling to score runs, and now it’s nice to get off the mat like that and get some hits.”

On 6-run inning:

“If we scored six, that’s not to say they can’t. Big (home) runs by Oz, to add on runs.”

On Dansby Swanson’s 10-pitch at-bat in six-run second inning:

“That whole inning there was a lot of really good things that happened right there. Dansby’s at-bat, Folty had a perfect bunt. It was just a big inning. We needed that one.”

On Inciarte’s elbow injury from hit-by-pitch in first inning, left in fifth:

“Similar to what Freddie had the other day, just kinda gigging him a little bit. I don’t see him not being OK on Friday. It was stiffening up on him. I’m surprised he made the next at-bat, really. It was probably too soon after. It was good that got up there, but it was just stiffening on him. Went to go ahead and get him treatment.”

On Foltynewicz’s unusual outing, one-hit shutout before giving up five runs and two homers in seventh:

“I don’t know. You didn’t expect that. He was throwing the ball really, really well. He was in charge. He had the homer, fine. Two outs. Then couldn’t stop the bleeding a little bit.”

More on Foltynewicz:

“(It was nice) to get him some runs, and get him a win. He’s been pitching great. Just pitching great. Did it again tonight, until two outs, nobody on in that inning, then it kinda got away. Really, really good outing (until then).”

When he knew Ozzie was special:

When I first saw him. When you saw him in A-ball — I didn’t have him, I saw him — he had that “it” factor, just how he carries himself, the skillset, the talent, the strength. There’s a lot of people in our organization that this isn’t surprising them what he’s doing.

On Freeman’s hustle and great slide to score on Markakis’ double

“Really good slide. You talk about Freddie, I just keep thinking back to the time he scored from first on a ball in the infield. He never doesn’t run, he never doesn’t hustle, and he’s a really good base-runner. That’s the thing. Once he gets the legs going, he’s (an) average runner.”

Surprise on Freeman entering home-run derby:

“If he wants to do it, I hope he has fun doing it. Drew a tough draw I saw, though.” (Freeman faces Bryce Harper in first round)

On Foltynewicz in first half:

“He’s just taken huge strides forward. I mean, exactly what we were wanting out of him. I just see him maturing. He’s staying more focused, his stuff, he’s making improvements on his stuff. I think his breaking ball is better than it ever has been. His command has been really good. He’s staying within himself. He’s making those strides we all wanted to see him make.”

On whether pitching inside is one of those improvements:

“It is. Guys can pitch inside without hitting guys and having a base-runner. It’s huge. His total game, I think, has really come a long way.”

On Foltynewicz being impressive running bases tonight:

“I like it. I think it’s good. I won’t hesitate now maybe to use him as a pinch-runner now that I saw that. Saw that right there, and it was pretty good to see.”

**MIKE FOLTYNEWICZ

On whether he’s able to take anything positive out of pitching so well until the seventh inning (five runs, two homers in the seventh)

“A little bit. At the end of the day it’s just, all that work, then for all that to happen – it’s just disappointing. But thankfully we got all them runs early. I just had a good game kind of unravel like that, especially a long inning like that. I was throwing good pitches, they were battling them off, hitting good pitches too. You’ve just got to kind of tip your cap and go from there. But yeah, it’s a little disappointing still. Thank God we got them run and the bullpen held them pretty well.”

On having one-hit shutout going until seventh inning, did you feel like you were close to getting out of that seventh without much damage?

“Yeah, Flow (Tyler Flowers) came out there after the second hit and said, ‘Hey, look, all of them are good pitches. Just keep battling, keep being aggressive.’ Chuck (Hernandez) said my mechanics were great the whole game, even the last inning. So like I said, just got to kind of tip your cap there. We got the ‘W,’ that’s all I can really say.”

On getting squeeze bunt down in six-run inning

“That’s really our second job, getting bunts down, and I think the team really gets energized when the little things like that happen. Big innings kind of spark from that.”

On Ozzie Albies

“I’m trying to (mimic) him every time I’m up at-bat, with the leg kick and all that. But the power that he generates from a little body like that. It’s impressive to watch. I was over there (in Houston) with Altuve and he’s hitting bombs too. I think (Albies) might be a little smaller and shorter, but he’s putting them up on top of the Chop House. He’s an exciting player to watch. Like Snit said, you don’t want to go to the bathroom or go get a beer when he’s up at the plate, because something good’s going to happen like you saw tonight. Putting balls miles into the air almost on top of the Chop House. I’m excited he’s on my team.”

Motivated more by having the two five-run innings allowed in your last two starts before the break?

“Yeah, we’ve got a good second half of baseball coming up and every game means the world. Extra motivation to go out there and just kind of shut the door and keep the great chemistry going that we have. It’ll be a great little break after the week for the guys just to relax and settle down. But we’ve got a lot of baseball left and it’s like motivation, every one in the starting staff, got a little break here and then get replenished and go out for the second half because we’ve got a lot of good teams we’ve got to face.”

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