CINCINNATI — Freddie Freeman is preparing for his close-up.
Along with his return to Atlanta looming simply days away, Freeman drove in 5 runs and reached base 4 occasions, pushing the Dodgers to an 8-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday evening.
Freeman is 15 for his previous 39 (.385) with Tuesday’s three-hit recreation his third in his previous 10. Extra importantly for the Dodgers’ offensive problems with late, he’s 22 for 60 (.367) with runners in scoring place this season.
“Balls are falling,” Freeman mentioned when requested to elucidate his latest surge. “There was no adjustment. It’s simply baseball, I assume. Not doing something totally different, simply attempting to hit the ball on the shortstop and balls are falling.”
They hadn’t been falling for the Dodgers as typically in June. Arriving in Cincinnati, they’d gone 7-9 this month whereas averaging simply 3 1/2 runs per recreation. They particularly had not been falling with runners in scoring place. The Dodgers have been 7 for 57 (.123) over their earlier seven video games.
“I imply, I don’t know. I believe clearly we wish to play effectively, however we all know it’s an extended season,” mentioned Trea Turner who had 4 hits and scored twice Tuesday. “I don’t suppose we have been placing an excessive amount of emphasis on it inside right here. I do know I really feel like we get interviewed about it each single day, however the numbers are nonetheless excellent. We simply haven’t been profitable. If the numbers are the identical and we’ve been profitable, we most likely wouldn’t speak about it that a lot. However typically we search for the dangerous even once we don’t must.
“Like I maintain saying, we all know we’re good. It’s a matter of enjoying effectively. Each evening’s not gonna be good. However tonight was one, begin for this highway journey.”
It took awhile to really feel that approach. the Dodgers outhit the Reds 12-4 by way of the primary seven innings however led simply 4-2 at that time.
Ten of the Dodgers’ first 20 batters within the recreation had hits, together with an extended ball (a first-inning solo house run by Will Smith) and – gasp! – some small ball.
After Justin Turner doubled off the highest of the left-field wall (lacking a house run by inches) to start out the fourth inning, Eddy Alvarez bunted him to 3rd and Gavin Lux drove him in with a sacrifice fly.
“We’re going to slug. However these issues proper there win a variety of baseball video games,” Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts mentioned. “In order that was most likely my favourite sequence tonight.
“Getting successful is difficult at occasions. However to have the ability to transfer a runner and make productive outs, that goes a great distance. And that, for me, ought to by no means have nights off.”
Freeman gave them the lead with a two-run double within the third inning. However he additionally took the steam out of that doubtlessly huge inning together with his legs.
Usually a savvy baserunner, Freeman tried to advance from second to 3rd when the throw house on his double bounced vast of house plate. He was thrown out at third for the primary out of the inning (a name held up after a prolonged evaluate).
“Clearly by the e-book, you don’t wish to make the primary out at third base,” Roberts mentioned. “For them to make the throw house to relay after which throw it to 3rd base to get him, 9 occasions out of 10 he’ll be in there. I nonetheless suppose it was an aggressive play and I’ll take him being aggressive.”
When Smith adopted with a single and Chris Taylor a two-out double (certainly one of his two doubles within the recreation), Freeman’s choice grew extra pricey.
The Reds responded solely with solo house runs in every of the primary two innings – one by Jonathan India and one by Albert Amora Jr.
It was the primary time this season Gonsolin has given up a number of house runs in a recreation and solely the fourth time in 13 begins he has given up as many as two runs. His league-leading ERA did go up – from 1.42 to 1.58, nonetheless one of the best in baseball.
After Amora’s house run, Gonsolin retired 10 of the subsequent 11 batters he confronted together with the ultimate 9. However Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts pulled him after 5 innings (and 87 pitches), ending a stretch of six consecutive begins by which he pitched at the least six innings (after by no means doing it in consecutive begins earlier than in his profession).
However the Dodgers lastly broke the sport open with 4 runs within the high of the eighth together with three on a bases-loaded triple off the center-field wall by Freeman. Smith then drove him in with a sacrifice fly.
“I believe these premier middle-of-the-order guys, their DNA is to essentially, actually lock in with guys in scoring place,” Roberts mentioned of Freeman. “To not say he provides something up when guys aren’t in scoring place or on base, however there’s simply that further layer of discovering a approach of placing the ball in play and people numbers don’t lie. He’s elite at that and has been his complete profession.”