Los Angeles Dodgers All-Stars continued to lead the way as Freddie Freeman, J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts each hit a solo home run in an 11-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels in the Freeway Series opener at Dodger Stadium.
Freeman opened the scoring with a homer in the first inning for a second consecutive game. The early production backed Freeman’s hope that the Dodgers would build on a series win against the Pittsburgh Pirates and close the first half with some momentum.
The Dodgers nearly took a 2-0 lead in the first inning but Jo Adell made a leaping catch at the wall in center field to rob Max Muncy of a home run.
Martinez didn’t have any such trouble as he homered to left field in the second inning, and Betts joined the power display with a blast in the third. Martinez added a two-out RBI double that chased Angels starter Griffin Canning from the game at just 2.2 innings pitched.
While the Dodgers staked Tony Gonsolin a 4-0 lead through three innings, he nearly allowed all of it to slip away in the fourth. Gonsolin had a perfect game until Shohei Ohtani led off with a base hit.
The Angels then successfully challenged an out call at first base, which paid off as Mickey Moniak followed with a three-run home run. That snapped a streak of Dodgers pitchers throwing 21 consecutive scoreless innings against the Angels this season.
That wound up being all Gonsolin allowed as he got through 6.2 innings. Following a prolonged stretch of short outings from their pieced-together rotation, the Dodgers have now received back-to-back starts of at least six innings from Julio Urías and Gonsolin. Bobby Miller fell just shy of that at 5.2 innings on Wednesday.
Gonsolin exited with a runner on first base, which was stranded when Alex Vesia struck out Shohei Ohtani to end the seventh. Although Gonsolin provided the Dodgers with needed length, he’s allowed at least four runs in four consecutive starts.
Vesia faced just the one batter a night after converting his first save of the season.
Fittingly, Will Smith joined the group of Dodgers All-Star position players to hit a home run, with his two-run shot capping off a four-run inning in the bottom of the eighth that led to Ryan Brasier pitching the ninth with a comfortable lead.
Mookie Betts stars
Betts continued to contribute as the game wore on, hitting his second home run of the game in the fifth inning. The multi-homer game was Betts’ 24th of his career and fourth this season.
Betts then added a two-run double in the sixth inning that wound up looming large. If not for the insurance, Mike Moustakas’ leadoff home run in the seventh would have cut the Dodgers’ lead to one run.
Dodgers break Freeway Series record
The Dodgers improved to 9-0 in their last nine games against the Angels, which is now their longest winning streak in Freeway Series history. Prior to the current stretch, the Dodgers won eight in a row in their head-to-head matchups from August 5, 2014-September 8, 2015.
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