First baseman Freddie Freeman is certainly making up for lost time.
Freeman smacked a pair of homers, drove in four runs and was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate to help Gwinnett defeat Norfolk, 8-3, on Thursday.
Freeman now has three home runs in his last two games, after going homerless in his first 13. The Braves' second-round pick in 2007 finished the four-game series against the Tides 7-for-16 with six RBIs.
The left-handed Freeman is seeking to rebound from a tough 2009 campaign, which was cut short in August by a wrist injury. The 20-year-old saw his home run total drop to eight combined with Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach and Double-A Mississippi, after slugging 18 the year before for Class A Rome.
Major League veteran Gregor Blanco collected three hits, including a double, and scored twice for the Braves (6-9), who took three of four from Norfolk.
Gwinnett's Tim Gustafson didn't factor into the decision after allowing three runs on six hits with two strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Mariano Gomez (1-0) picked up the win in relief, allowing one hit and striking out one in 2 1/3 shutout innings.
Jeff Salazar extended his hitting streak to five games for the Tides (5-10) with a two-run homer in the third. Rhyne Hughes added a solo shot for Norfolk.
Orioles prospect Brandon Erbe (0-3) surrendered both of Freeman's homers. He allowed five runs on seven hits and struck out four in five innings for the Tides.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.