Francoeur’s first home run in Atlanta since 2010 leads Braves to win

Jeff Francoeur played the hero for the Braves on Sunday, delivering a two-run home run in Atlanta’s 2-1 win over the Phillies. Although the former Parkview High School star had filled that role for the Braves before, the home run in front of the hometown fans was a rarity.

Francoeur’s opposite-field blast was his seventh home run of the season but his first at home in 2016. Before that, Francoeur’s last home run in Turner Field came in 2010 as a Met. The final home home run of his first stint with the Braves was June 2009.

“I didn’t realize it was my first one (at home this season),” Francoeur said. “You enjoy these wins and enjoy these moments. When you’re 22, 23, you think, ‘Oh, I’ll do it again tomorrow.’ For me, it was a good opportunity to get in there today and contribute.”

Francoeur was 0-for-3 against his former team before he took a Andrew Bailey pitch to the seats in the bottom of the seventh inning. Francoeur nearly had his first home run at home earlier in the contest, as he smacked a changeup from Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff to left field in the second inning.

Francoeur said that flyout would have probably cleared the wall at Citizens Bank Park.

“(Turner Field) is not a hitter’s park, per se,” Francoeur said. “On the first (at-bat), I knew I hit it pretty good, but I hit it a little bit off the end. The last one, I knew it was gone.”

Braves manager Brian Snitker said these big moments from the 32-year-old Francoeur are meaningful to him. Snitker became the Braves’ third-base coach in Francoeur’s first full season in Atlanta, which saw him hit .260 with 29 home runs, and was still at that position when Francoeur was dealt to the Mets in July 2009.

“You can’t help but gravitate to the guy,” Snitker said. “When he does well, I’m as happy as anybody. He’s a special guy.”

Despite exciting the Braves’ fans on Sunday, Francoeur’s second stint in Atlanta will face a major test on Monday.

With the trade deadline lingering at 4:00 p.m., there is thought that the veteran outfielder could be on the trading block. While Francoeur can’t control his situation, he did say Braves general manager John Coppolella has been extremely open with him. Francoeur said if there is a trade, he’ll be one of the first to know.

“There’s always an opportunity,” Francoeur said. “I hope I’m here again Tuesday and ready to go against the Pirates.”

It seems safe to say if it were up to second baseman Jace Peterson, Francoeur would get more chances to go deep in a Braves’ uniform.

“He keeps the energy up,” Peterson said. “We know in those situations he’s the guy you want at the plate.”