Freeman family convenes in Phoenix

PHOENIX – Freddie Freeman is always happy when family members from California come to see him play, but Friday the Braves first baseman also hoped it might help him snap out of a recent funk.

Freeman hit .208 with no homers in his past 15 games before Friday’s series opener against the Diamondbacks, and he’d struck out three times in three of his past eight games.

“Usually whenever my dad’s around I get hits, so hopefully he brings some of that magic to me again,” he said.

His father, Fred Freeman, drove from Orange County along with Freeman’s grandmother and an aunt and two of her children. Freddie’s two brothers were also coming to Phoenix.

“I’ve got both brothers and one of my brothers’ family, and my brother brought three friends,” Freeman said before batting practice Friday at Chase Field. “My one brother flew in with his friends and everybody else drove in. And I’ve got a lot of them driving in today.

“I think I left like 18 tickets. They got me today.”

He laughed when he said that, because Freeman was more than happy to help facilitate the family gathering in the desert.

“It’s always nice to see my family,” he said. “I live full time in Atlanta now so I don’t get to see them very often…. I always play with a lot of energy, maybe that little extra something else for my family. So hopefully it works tonight.”