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Freese relaxed during streak, which ends at 20 games

Freese relaxed during streak, which ends at 20 games

Freese relaxed during streak, which ends at 20 games play video for Freese relaxed during streak, which ends at 20 games

NEW YORK -- The overwhelming emotion as David Freese spoke to the media following the Cardinals' 7-6 win on May 17 was relief. He had hit a grand slam that night, snapping a season-long homerless streak. It was his largest -- and one of only a few -- contribution to date in 2013.

Freese emphasized how trying his season had been, adding that he wasn't sure one home run was all he needed to turn a corner on offense. Hindsight, however, would suggest that it did.

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Freese also hit safely in the next 19 games he played, amassing a 20-game hitting streak that didn't end until he went 0-for-4 against the Mets at Citi Field on Wednesday. No one in the Majors had a longer streak this season. His season average climbed from .209, the day before the streak started, to .281 after Wednesday's contest.

He drove in 16 runs during the 20-game stretch after collecting just four RBIs in his first 27 games.

"I'm relaxed and real comfortable out there and confident," Freese said. "I feel like my approach is adjusting [at-bat] to [at-bat] real well right now. Obviously, it's a results-based game, but it's just about the process. Right now, balls are falling in."

Pitch selection -- in particular, not swinging at pitches outside the strike zone -- has been particularly noticeable during this uptick in success.

"That's the bottom line," he said. "I think I'm doing a better job of taking walks, waiting for that one pitch to try and hit hard and just simplify it that way."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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