Freddie Freeman hits for cycle as Braves sweep Marlins

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman comments on the team's recent success on the road and making a move 'at right time' in August.

MIAMI – Behind first baseman Freddie Freeman hitting for the cycle and a plethora of walks, the Braves defeated the Marlins 11-9 to complete the sweep in South Florida. The Braves started their road trip 6-0.

Here are five takeaways from Wednesday:

1. Freeman hit for the cycle for the second time in his career – and it only took him six innings. He doubled in the first inning against Marlins starter Jesus Luzardo. He tripled off Luzardo in the fourth. He singled off reliever Sean Guenther in the next frame.

Then, to top it off, Freeman belted a two-run homer to center off Luis Madero in the sixth.

“I was telling (shortstop) Dansby (Swanson) in there, ‘This guy’s good enough to go up there and hit a home run right now,’” manager Brian Snitker said. “That’s how special he is. And he hit it to the deepest part of the park.”

2. Freeman is the seventh player in franchise history to hit for the cycle. He’s the second to do so multiple times, joining Herman Long (1896, 1900). Freeman also hit for the cycle on June 15, 2016 against the Reds.

“It’s just pretty cool,” Freeman said. “These are the special nights that, it’s really even hard to talk about. Everything has to go right.”

The other Braves to hit for the cycle: Mark Kotsay (2008), Albert Hall (1987), William Collins (1910), John Bates (1907), Duff Cooley (1904) and Long. So Freeman has two of the team’s four cycles over the last 110 years. He’s also the third player to hit for the cycle against the Marlins, joining Cody Bellinger (Dodgers) and Todd Helton (Rockies).

“It’s so hard to even like put into words,” Freeman said. “To get four hits in any one game is just amazing in itself. It was a special night. These are the nights that everything just comes together. It just becomes one of those memories that I’ll be able to tell my grandkids and hopefully great grandkids that I was able to do something that very, very rare multiple times. It makes me speechless.

3. The Braves drew five bases-loaded walks Wednesday. They have 17 bases-loaded walks on the season, one shy of tying the franchise record. They drew nine of those walks across two games against the Cardinals and Marlins.

“It’s just being patient, not expanding the strike zone,” Snitker said. “Taking what’s given and not trying to do too much, things that these guys have been doing here for a while now. Forcing a pitcher to get the ball over the plate. They’re not expanding the strike zone. If you don’t chase, you have a pretty good chance to get a good pitch. And that’s a great trait in a team if they’re not chasing a lot.”

In the sweep, the Braves scored 25 runs, had 30 hits (10 per game) and walked 24 times.

4. Braves starter Charlie Morton allowed two runs on three hits, striking out nine and walking one. Morton has allowed three or fewer runs in eight consecutive starts. He’s covered at least six innings in seven of those games.

5. The Braves have swept three consecutive opponents – the Cardinals, Nationals and Marlins – as part of a 10-game road winning streak for the first time since 2009. Their streak is the longest in the majors this season and one shy of equaling the single-season franchise record.

Stat to know

9-7 (The Braves went 9-7 against the Marlins, winning the season series for the seventh consecutive season.)

Quotable

“My wife (Chelsea), we had breakfast this morning and we had two cappuccinos delivered and she chose the cappuccino, she handed it to me and said, ‘This is the one that has a lot of hits in it.’ So I have to give this one up to my wife Chelsea. Because if it wasn’t for the right cappuccino pick, I wouldn’t be here talking to you guys.” – Freeman

Attendance

The three-game series drew 19,392 people to LoanDepot Park. Many of those were Braves fans who were loud during important moments and sequences.

Ninth inning

The Braves had a more-eventful ninth inning than hoped. Josh Tomlin surrendered five runs. Will Smith entered and gave up a two-run homer to Jesus Sanchez. He struck out former Brave Alex Jackson to end it, but the game was a bit too close for comfort.

Up next

The Braves’ road trip continues in Baltimore, where they’ll face the reeling Orioles Friday. The O’s (38-81) have dropped 14 consecutive games. Their closest loss during the skid was by three runs.