‘Slowly and surely’ Braves’ Freeman improving at plate

As the most accomplished slugger in the lineup first baseman Freddie Freeman is the primary candidate to spark a desperately-needed power surge for the Braves.

Freeman hasn't hit a home run since opening day but is taking solace in small victories as he tries to find his groove. He got one on Saturday when he pulled Mets lefty Steven Matz's breaking ball to right field for a double in the third inning of the 8-2 Braves defeat.

“Slowly and surely it’s coming,” Freeman said after he went 2-for-4 against the Mets on Saturday. “I wish it came a lot faster. I seem to only be able to hit lefties right now. I’ll take them when I get them.”

Freeman took step back he went 0-for-4 in the series finale Sunday, including 0-for-3 with runners on base, and ended his hitting streak at three games. But he’s still trending upward with a .243 batting average (9-for-37) since getting a day off at the Nationals on April 14 .

Freeman said the next step is to improve his timing against right-handers by staying down in his crouch and getting his front foot down quicker. Entering Sunday, he was batting .261 (6-for-23) with a .414 OBP against lefties and .143/268 against right-handers.

“I’ve been coming out of my swing a lot probably (for) the last month, from the end of spring training,” Freeman said. “I’ve been swinging and missing a lot and fouling balls off. It’s a work in progress.”