LOS ANGELES – After pounding out eight extra-base hits and 14 RBIs in six games, the Braves’ Freddie Freeman was named National League player of the week Monday, the first time he’s won the award.
“More importantly, we won five games during the week,” said Freeman, who hit .478 (11-for-23) with five doubles and three homers during the week that ended April 22, helping the Braves put together a five-game winning streak.
The 22-year-old first baseman did all his damage in six games, as he was rested April 16 after hitting just .162 with one RBI in the first nine games of the season.
Freeman went from slumping to scorching after the one-day break. He five multi-RBI games in the next six.
“Individual accolades don’t mean a lot right now,” he said. “We’re just trying to win ballgames. We won five last week and that’s the most important thing,” he said.
Freeman had two homers and a career-high five RBIs in Thursday’s 10-2 win against the Diamondbacks, with several family members in attendance after driving over from his native Southern California.
He said it was special seeing the smile on his father’s face after that game.
It’s the first NL player-of-the-week award for Freeman, who was the NL Rookie of the Year runner-up behind Braves closer Craig Kimbrel in 2011.
Two more Braves, center fielder Michael Bourn and third baseman Juan Francisco, were among 15 other players who received consideration for player of the week. Bourn hit .464 with 13 hits and five stolen bases, and Francisco hit .375 with three homers and six RBIs and a 1.063 slugging percentage.
“We had a good week offensively,” said manager Fredi Gonzalez, whose Braves scored 45 runs during their five-game winning streak that was snapped Sunday. ” Hopefully that continues. Fredi was unbelievable. But he’s capable of doing that. We’ve seen it.”
The Braves won three of four against the Diamondbacks and continued a two-city trip Monday night with the opener of a three-game series against Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium, just up the freeway from Freeman’s hometown of Villa Park.
It’ll be another opportunity for Freeman to do what he said he loves — play in front of family including his father.