Final: Dodgers win 4-1 in Freddie Freeman’s return to Atlanta
The Dodgers won in Freddie Freeman’s return to Atlanta, knocking off the Braves 4-1.
Freeman had two walks, two runs and a hit. Trea Turner had three hits. Justin Turner had two RBIs. And Julio Urías pitched six innings, giving up only one run.
The bullpen pitched three scoreless innings, capped by Craig Kimbrel’s 13th save.
However, they also watched Daniel Hudson leave the game with an apparent knee injury.
Final: Dodgers 4, Braves 1
Dodgers take lead into ninth but lose Daniel Hudson to apparent knee injury
The Dodgers’ pitching staff is already dealing with plenty of injuries.
They might have suffered another one in the eighth inning Friday night.
Setup man Daniel Hudson had to leave the game after his left knee buckled while he tried to play a ground ball. The right-hander immediately went down in pain and clutched at his leg before gingerly walking off the field.
Brusdar Graterol entered and escaped the inning, but the bigger concern will be about the health of Hudson, who has the second-best ERA in the bullpen at 2.25.
End 8th: Dodgers lead 4-1
Julio Urías gives up one run but escapes jam to finish strong six-inning start
After giving up only two baserunners in his first five innings, Julio Urías ran into a jam in the sixth.
Ronald Acuña Jr. hit an infield single, Dansby Swanson got a flare to drop in front of a diving Trayce Thompson in right, and Austin Riley drew a full-count walk to load the bases.
Manager Dave Roberts, however, allowed Urías to escape the threat.
Though Matt Olson hit a sacrifice fly in the next at-bat, that would be the only run the Braves would get, with Urías fanning Marcell Ozuna with a 95.5-mph fastball on his 94th pitch of the night.
The velocity and pitch count both were season highs.
It would mark the end of Urías’ night. His final line: six innings, one run, three hits, two walks and nine strikeouts.
He now has a 2.48 ERA on the season.
Mid 7th: Dodgers lead 4-1
Trea Turner homers, Freddie Freeman scores again as Dodgers extend lead
Braves starter Ian Anderson had settled into a groove after the first inning, retiring eight in a row to keep the deficit at two runs through four.
In the fifth inning, however, he ran into trouble.
The Dodgers’ Trea Turner led off with a solo home run, hitting his 10th blast of the season on a fly ball to right field that kept carrying out of the park.
Freddie Freeman then drew his second walk of the game, which was followed by Will Smith’s double and Max Muncy’s walk to load the bases.
Anderson was replaced by Collin McHugh, who was able to limit the damage to a lone run on Justin Turner’s fielder’s choice.
It was Freeman who scored the run, crossing the plate for the second time tonight.
Mid 5th: Dodgers lead 4-0
Freddie Freeman walks in first at-bat, helping Dodgers take early lead
Before his first at-bat back in Atlanta, Freddie Freeman received a minute-long ovation from the home crowd as the stadium organist played Queen’s “We Are the Champions.”
He fought back more tears as he tipped his helmet and waved to various sections in the stands. He gave catcher William Contreras, who had been standing in front of the plate to let the crowd serenade him, a hug.
Then, Freeman dug in and drew a five-pitch walk, fouling off the first pitch before taking the next four from Braves starter Ian Anderson.
It helped spark a two-run first inning for the Dodgers, who also got a leadoff single from Trea Turner in the previous at-bat, an RBI single from Will Smith in the ensuing at-bat and a sacrifice fly from Justin Turner later in the inning that allowed Freeman to score.
End 1st: Dodgers lead 2-0
Freddie Freeman makes emotional return to Atlanta, gets Braves 2021 World Series ring
ATLANTA — The tears started before he could even say a word.
Freddie Freeman knew he would be emotional this weekend as he returned to Atlanta for the first time as a visiting player.
He knew his feelings would still be raw after he and the club he spent the first 12 years of his major league career with failed to reach a new contract this past offseason, leading the 2020 National League most valuable player to sign with the Dodgers instead.
But when he walked into the news conference room at Truist Park hours before first pitch Friday, where Braves staffers, Atlanta reporters and other faces from his past life stared back at him, Freeman couldn’t hold it together.
He put his hands on his head and briefly left the room, gathering himself in a hallway corridor near his old clubhouse.
“Give me a moment,” he said.
He came back in a minute later holding a towel, wiping away his tears as he kept his gaze to the side, afraid looking forward would trigger another breakdown.
“I don’t know if I can get through this,” he said, his voice cracking. “OK, I’ll try.”
Then, for the next 10 minutes, Freeman tried to gather his thoughts and describe his emotions — a swirl of gratitude, appreciation and love for his former franchise but also sorrow and heartache that he no longer calls Atlanta home.
“Man, I love the Braves organization with all my heart,” Freeman said. “That will never change.”
Before the news conference, Freeman said he had been keeping his emotions in check since the Dodgers arrived in Atlanta on Thursday night.
He and his family went back to stay at their old house, which they still own.
They went to breakfast Friday morning at their favorite spot, Cupanion’s, where Freeman said everyone in the restaurant started applauding when they walked in the door. (He laughed about how they also still had the “Freddie omelette” on the menu.)
When he showed up at the ballpark, Freeman said he counted 14 people wearing his old jersey outside — something, he said, he “never took that for granted” during his dozen years as a Brave.
But as the first pitch drew closer, the emotions started to bubble up.
“I think you can tell how much I truly do love this organization,” he said. “I don’t even know how I’m gonna get through this weekend, to be honest.”
Freeman got emotional again during a pregame ceremony before the first pitch.
After a lengthy scoreboard video tribute, Freeman took the field to a raucous, standing ovation from a sold-out crowd. He was presented his World Series ring by Braves manager Brian Snitker, a longtime coach in the organization whom Freeman vouched for to become manager in 2016.
Then Freeman addressed the crowd directly over the PA system.
“I know I got a different uniform on, but I still love each and every one of you guys,” he said. “This is one of the hardest days of my life but one of the most amazing days of my life.”
Andrew Heaney put back on IL with left shoulder inflammation
ATLANTA — The Dodgers announced Friday that pitcher Andrew Heaney has been put back on the injured list because of left shoulder inflammation, the second time this year Heaney has been on the IL with shoulder trouble.
Manager Dave Roberts said the latest injury surfaced after the left-hander threw a bullpen session Thursday. Heaney flew back to Los Angeles and got testing done that revealed a strain. Roberts said Heaney will be shut down for a few days and that the team is hopeful he will only miss a couple of starts.
“I don’t foresee it being long,” Roberts said.
Roberts said Mitch White will start for the Dodgers on Saturday in place of Heaney. Reliever Reyes Moronta was also recalled Friday in a corresponding roster move.
A free-agent signing this past winter, Heaney has made only three starts for the Dodgers. He began the season with consecutive scoreless outings before going on the IL for the first time in mid-April.
After a two-month absence, he returned to the mound Sunday and gave up two runs (one earned) in a five-inning, 77-pitch start.
During his bullpen session Thursday, however, Heaney “felt some achiness, soreness in his shoulder,” Roberts said, adding that while the strain is the same injury that hampered the pitcher earlier this year, the team doesn’t believe this flare-up is as severe.
“I think it’s a little worrisome, a little frustrating, more for Andrew because he did a lot to get back to that point,” Roberts said. “But it’s where we’re at. So our job now and his job is to do whatever we can to get him back on the mound as soon as we can.”
In the meantime, the Dodgers will open their series against the Braves on Friday in what will be Freddie Freeman’s return to Atlanta, where he spent the first 12 years of his major league career.
Here is the Dodgers’ lineup for the series opener:
‘It was a really good day.’ Dodgers complete confidence-boosting sweep of Reds
CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Reds have one of baseball’s lowest payrolls, one of its least productive lineups and, when measured by team ERA, the sport’s worst pitching staff.
They’re so far out of the playoff picture, even their executives seem to have raised the white flag, announcing this week they’ve booked a weeklong TopGolf event at their home stadium — in the middle of October.
Sweeping the Reds, therefore, will likely not be one of the Dodgers’ greatest accomplishments this season.
But for a team that had been struggling at the plate, battling injuries across the roster and playing a lot of uninspired baseball in recent weeks, the dominance they displayed in three straight wins this week — punctuated by a 10-5 rout Thursday that featured a season-high five home runs from the lineup — could have hardly come at a better time.
How to watch and stream the Dodgers this season
Here’s a look at the Dodgers broadcast and streaming schedule for the remainder of the 2022 regular season: