Freddie Freeman is scorching at the plate right now. His two home runs were part of a four-hit day in a 16-3 Dodgers rout of the Rangers on Saturday in Texas.
Freeman singled in the first inning and homered in the third inning against Rangers starter Dane Dunning, then as Freeman came to the plate against reliever Glenn Otto in the fourth, the SportsNet LA telecast featured his discussion of Freeman.
“He’s always hot,” Stephen Nelson said. “It’s just if he’s scalding or simmering.”
“The longer the scalding streaks, the more he’ll be in the MVP conversation,” added Orel Hershiser.
Two pitches later, Freeman slammed a towering shot to right field for his second home run of the day.
Freddie Freeman, you are ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/URd8Uce8Gi— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 22, 2023
Freeman in his last five games has two three-hit games, a two-hit game, and Saturday’s four-hit game — his third four-hit game this season — totaling 12 hits in his last 21 at-bats.
That’s raised Freeman’s seasonal line to .328/.409/.584 with a 166 wRC+. He leads the National League in slugging percentage, in OPS (.993), and wRC+, second only to Shohei Ohtani in the majors in all three categories. Freeman’s 20 home runs are only one shy of last year’s total, when he set a career high with 47 doubles to lead the majors. He leads the majors with 35 doubles this season, too.
Getting on base so often this week has led to runs for Freeman, who has scored at least twice in each of the last five games, the longest such streak in Dodgers history. On the season, Freeman is also second in the majors with 84 runs scored, behind only the Braves’ Ronald Acuña Jr.
Second-inning hits into the nooks and crannies down the line in foul territory on both sides of Globe Life Field each scored a run. David Peralta took advantage down the left field line with a double, then after a walk James Outman pulled one inside first base. That Outman’s ball wasn’t a two-run double was a testament to quick work by Adolis García getting to the ball in right field, and the threat of his strong arm kept Peralta at third base.
Still, it was a three-run inning that added 33 more pitches to Dane Dunning’s odometer, and made for another long day for the Rangers bullpen.
The Dodgers spit on pitches they didn’t like from Dunning, and fouled off 18 more. It took the right-hander until his 73rd pitch to get his first swinging strike, which came a few pitches after both Freeman and Max Muncy homered to right field.
Dunning entered Saturday fourth in the American League with a 2.82 ERA, but he allowed a season-high five runs on Saturday. The Rangers right-hander was Dunning after just three innings, after needing 79 pitches to record his nine outs.
After Freeman’s home run off Otto in the fourth, J.D. Martinez added a three-run shot of his own to blow the game open.
Texas used five relief pitchers to cover the final four innings on Friday, and needed two pitchers to get through the four innings on Saturday, before asking inifelder Brad Miller to toe the rubber for the final six outs.
No such tax was levied on the Dodgers bullpen, as Bobby Miller was efficient in his start. He actually trailed at one point, when Marcus Semien homered on Miller’s second pitch of the game for a 1-0 Texas advantage.
Miller settled down after that. The Rangers bunched together three hits in the fifth inning for a pair of runs, but that only cut the Dodgers lead to seven. Miller hit a batter but walked none, and struck out six to get through six innings for the first time in seven starts.
- Muncy also doubled, singled, and walked, for his first three-hit game since May 15. He scored a career-high four runs.
- Peralta tied a season high with his four hits, matching his output on June 8.
- Martinez tied a season high with four RBI, also done on April 18 and June 29.
- Jonny DeLuca hie a three-run home run in the ninth inning off Miller. DeLuca played the final two innings in right field, taking over Freeman’s spot in the batting order. The Dodgers’ number-two spot on Saturday was responsible for five hits, three home runs, and six RBI.
- Sixteen runs are a season high for the Dodgers
Home runs: Freddie Freeman 2 (20), Max Muncy (23), J.D. Martinez (24), Jonny DeLuca (2); Marcus Semien (14)
WP — Bobby Miller (6-1): 6 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 6 strikeouts
LP — Dane Dunning (8-3): 3 IP, 7 hits, 5 runs, 2 waks, 1 strikeout
Emmet Sheehan is on the mound as the Dodgers finish off the road trip on Sunday (11:35 a.m. PT, SportsNet LA), with left-hander Martín Pérez pitching for Texas.