The Los Angeles Dodgers offense came alive in their series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on Friday night, slugging 12 hits and cruising to a 10-2 victory.
Facing his former team, David Freese stole the show offensively in the top of the first inning. He stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and worked the count full against Pirates starter Michael Feliz.
Freese got a hittable pitch and drove it to right-center field, clearing the wall for a grand slam to give the Dodgers an early lead. The long ball was Freese’s fourth of the year in limited playing time, and he finished the night 2-for-4 overall.
Cody Bellinger saw his batting average dip below .400 in Wednesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, and then he began Friday’s game by making outs in his first three at-bats. He broke out of a mini-slump in a big way in the seventh inning, launching a two-run home run to right field.
Bellinger now has 18 home runs on the season, which is second in baseball behind only Christian Yelich’s 20. Bellinger’s 46 RBI trail only Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell, who has 47.
Austin Barnes also had a solid game at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBI. Both of his hits were doubles that were driven into the gap, which is a good sign for the Dodgers backstop.
Walker Buehler got the start on the mound and looked relaxed all night long after getting those early runs of support. He was able to work six solid innings, allowing six hits and a run with six strikeouts and one walk.
After struggling to start the year, Buehler has now brought his earned run average down to 3.58 on the season and has a 5-1 record.