Frazier's 29th HR has personal importance

Reds third baseman also matches career high for season

Frazier's 29th HR has personal importance

LOS ANGELES -- Todd Frazier wanted to do something special on Saturday night. The Reds third baseman equaled his career-high by hitting his 29th home run of the season -- one of the few bright spots for his club during an 8-3 loss to the Dodgers.

For Frazier, the homer was more important for personal reasons. His aunt, Pam Frazier, just passed away after an illness.

"Tonight was a little special for me because my aunt passed away [Friday]," Frazier said. "I told everybody I would try and get a home run for her today. I'm just glad I got something for her. It was a little tough today. She's been dealing with some stuff but she's in a better place now."

Frazier also hit 29 homers during the 2014 season.

The second half of the West Coast road trip has seen Frazier find his groove again at the plate. He came in batting .181 with three homers during 27 second-half games.

Over the past five games, however, Frazier has gone 8-for-20 (.400) with two homers and five RBIs. He reached base in all four of Saturday's plate appearances. He hit Brett Anderson's first pitch for a two-out, two-run homer to right field for a 2-0 Cincinnati lead. Frazier walked in the third inning, reached on an error in the fifth and hit a single in the eighth.

"It's just a rough little stretch. I always knew my ability but I was overthinking stuff and trying to get five hits out of one," Frazier said.

Reds manager Bryan Price was always optimistic that Frazier would find his way out of his slump.

"As a middle-of-the-order guy, we've come to depend on him being a run-producing bat. It tends to stand out when he's in a drought," Price said. "When he was really struggling, I said it was inevitable that he would break out and he's going to come back and be the type of player that he's been for us historically. I think it's a good sign of things to come, for sure."

Frazier has been putting in the time with Reds hitting coach Don Long, but said he hasn't changed too much in his approach.

"I'm seeing it better. I talk about this all the time -- pitch selection," Frazier said. "If I get the right pitches to hit, I'm going to do damage. I'm not missing those pitches. Be aggressive but not in a hurry. That's a motto I go by. When it's wrong, I'm aggressive and in a hurry."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.