MLB Team Report - Atlanta Braves - INSIDE PITCH


ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman's batting average and run production are down this season, but that's mainly just because of his lack of success against one team.

The Atlanta Braves first baseman is batting .055 (3-for-54) against the Miami Marlins and .317 (146-for-461) vs. everyone else.

Now that's hard to figure.

Freeman went hitless in his first 29 at-bats against the Marlins and hasn't been able to break out of his season-long slump against them. He struck out three times Friday in the Braves' 5-2 victory and has fanned a stunning 20 times against Miami.

Freeman, who signed an eight-year, $90-million contract extension this spring, has already tied his career high with 58 extra-base hits and is batting .289 overall with 17 homers and 69 RBIs in 135 games.

The left-handed hitter obviously won't come close to matching the 109 RBIs he had in 2013, but that is partly because of the lack of runners getting on base ahead of the No. 3 hitter.

Freeman, who hit .319 last season, started every game this year and has already bettered his career high for doubles with 37.

Freeman, who turns 25 on Sept. 12, was unhappy when put on the disabled list because of mild oblique strain last April and has played all except two innings this season.

"I take a lot of pride in playing every game," he said.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez doesn't have any plans to give Freeman rest. With the Braves desperately fighting for a playoff spot, he can't really afford it.

If Freeman did get a day off, though, a game against the Marlins would certainly be a good candidate.

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MLB Team Report - Atlanta Braves - NOTES, QUOTES


RECORD: 71-64

STREAK: Won three

NEXT: Marlins (RHP Jared Cosart, 11-8, 3.98 ERA) at Braves (RHP Aaron Harang, 10-8, 3.60 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--LF Justin Upton was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and RBI single against the Marlins on Friday as he continued a late push for Most Valuable Player consideration in the National League. He has 26 homers and a career-high 91 RBIs to go with a .288 average. Seven of the homers and 28 of the RBIs have come in 25 games during August.