Dansby Swanson hits first career grand slam

Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson said he’d waited all his life for what happened Thursday in Philadelphia.

Swanson, dropped to fifth in the order after struggling in the second spot, came up in the third inning with two outs and the bases loaded. The former No. 1 overall pick then achieved a feat he doesn’t remember accomplishing before: Swanson hit a pitch from Phillies starter Matt Moore over the left-center wall for a grand slam.

The blast put the Braves up 5-0 in a game they eventually won 7-2.

“That might be my first (grand slam) of all-time,” Swanson said. “Like, I’m 27, so throughout my 20-year baseball career. I think that was the first one I’ve ever hit. It was a cool moment. It was a great way for us to start the road trip in general, be able to get some runs early and take control of the game. That was the best part about it, to be up five runs after that. I feel like that helped set the tone for the game.”

It was also Swanson’s 17th homer of the season, tying his career high. Swanson required 127 games to set his career-best mark in 2017; it took him only 95 games to reach 17 home runs this season.

While it was Swanson’s only hit of the evening, it continued his recent road success. He was hitting .321/.390/.623 with six walks, four doubles and four homers over his last 14 road contests entering Thursday. That’s a drastic change from earlier in the year, when Swanson hit .181 over his first 29 road games.

The Braves’ important nine-game National League East road trip continues Friday with the second of four games against the Phillies.