ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman shared a little secret with Dansby Swanson to try and get the rookie out of his slump: Swap out seeds.
Swanson hit a walk-off single to drive in Chase d'Arnaud in the bottom of the ninth to beat the San Diego Padres 5-4 and complete the four-game sweep.
But before that, Swanson was 0-for-4 and had one strikeout. He has been struggling to make contact for the majority of the young season, striking out 12 times and only garnering seven hits, one of which was a home run.
Swanson was trying to figure it out in the dugout. Freeman, a two-time All-Star first baseman, went up to Swanson and told him the secret.
"He was sitting next to me and I said, 'Why don't you switch up you seeds and see what happens,' " Freeman said.
"I eat the Kettle Roasted ones, which I think taste better," Swanson said. "Freddie eats the Roasted and Salted Original ones. And he said, 'I tried to tell you that that's what it was.' So I changed it up."
Bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, 1-2 count with two out, Swanson crushed a fastball up and in from Brandon Maurer. It fell just in front of the outfielder's outstretched glove.
"It was a lot of happiness. Just seeing everyone run out there, too, just excited for you as they are for the team. It was just an awesome and genuine moment," Swanson said. He's sticking with the roasted salted sunflower seeds again Tuesday night when the Braves (6-6) embark on a three-game series against the Washington Nationals (7-5). The Braves will be looking to get that same power against the National's ace Max Scherzer who is 1-1 this season with a 2.13 ERA. Swanson said those seeds will be in his back pocket for the series.
"I don't think it was mostly the seeds, but I think it was more him," Freeman said.
Swanson watches Freeman, who acts as a mentor for him and most of the young guys in the clubhouse. Freeman said he doesn't have to do much in terms of trying to help Swanson.
"It's very hard to develop someone who's already developed," he said, commenting on Swanson's maturity and ability to come in everyday ready to play and not expect to take any days off. That's how Freeman tries to carry himself.
Swanson is hitting .151 and has just three RBIs. But if the sunflower seeds really do work their magic, it could help the Braves get over .500 for the first time in a while, excluding their 1-1 start earlier this year.
"There's so much energy in this ballpark now," Freeman said. "We feed off of that. Ender (Inciarte) has been huge for us, Dansby had the big hit for us (Monday). Guys are starting to hit. Just being .500...It's a big boost for us."
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