Freddie Freeman led a potent attack, collecting four of the Dodgers’ season-high 24 hits and scored double digits for the sixth time in a 14-1 win over the Diamondbacks on Thursday night at Chase Field in Phoenix.
Freeman hadn’t homered since April 24, but even with the long ball drought he was still having a stellar month. He entered Thursday with an .849 OPS in May, and his RBI double in the first inning scored the first run of the game.
Then in the second inning, with one out and two runners on, Freeman unloaded on a pitch from Humberto Castellanos.
Chants on the road? The Freddie effect. pic.twitter.com/kXu3EVs8lM— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 27, 2022
Another double by Freeman in the sixth, this one off the center field wall, gave him five runs batted in on the night and was his 14th two-bagger of the month. The Dodgers record for doubles in a month is 16, by Babe Herman for Brooklyn in 1930.
There are five games left for the Dodgers in May.
Freeman was rejoined at the top of the lineup by leadoff man Mookie Betts, who did not start Wednesday’s finale in the nation’s capital but did strikeout as a pinch-hitter late in that game. Back among the starters on Thursday, Betts picked up right where he left off, continuing his transcendent May.
Betts doubled before Freeman’s double and scored in the first. He walked and scored on Freeman’s home run in the second. Betts even singled in the third inning too, but was denied a potential scoring chance when Gavin Lux was thrown out at third base, finished off by a painful tag right between the wickets.
Thursday marked the 13th consecutive start in which Betts scored at least once. He reached home three times in the series opener with three hits and a walk. Betts’ double gave him at least one extra-base hit in his last seven starts.
With the first two hitters on base all night, the next few in the lineup cleaned up as well. Trea Turner had two hits, including an RBI triple, and Will Smith had a pair of RBI singles.
Every Dodgers starter had multiple hits. Twenty-four hits are tied for third-most by the Dodgers since moving to Los Angeles, just one shy of the franchise high during that time.
As a team, their six games scoring at least 10 runs this season are tied with the Yankees and Cardinals for most in the majors.
The offense was humming along so well, Roberts got Freeman off his feet for the final three innings on defense. Moving Edwin Ríos to first base forfeited the designated hitter at that point, so pitcher Evan Phillips had to bat in the eighth, with a 12-1 lead.
In his fourth major league plate appearance, Phillips walked on five pitches. It was that kind of night for the Dodgers offense.
With a six-run lead after an inning and a half, the job for Dodgers pitchers was distilled down to basically just throwing strikes in this one. Mitch White did reasonably well, maneuvering around some traffic to complete four scoreless innings. He was followed by Justin Bruihl, Phillips, and Phil Bickford from the actual pitchers, then Hanser Alberto entered with a 13-run lead to close out the win.
Bruihl, who pitched a scoreless fourth inning, earned his first major league win.
Home runs: Freddie Freeman (4), Chris Taylor (5); Christian Walker (12)
WP — Justin Bruihl (1-1): 1 IP, 2 hits
LP — Humberto Castellanos (3-2): 4 IP, 10 hits, 6 runs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
The Dodgers’ Friday night (6:40 p.m., SportsNet LA) starter hasn’t yet been announced, but with Ryan Pepiot already with the team per the beat writers on site in Phoenix, his third major league appearance seems imminent. Madison Bumgarner starts the second game of the series for Arizona.