Spring Training Recap: Freddie Freeman Has Successful Debut & Walker Buehler Stretches Out In Dodgers’ Loss To Reds

Freddie Freeman had a successful debut and Walker Buehler got his spring off to a good start but the Los Angeles Dodgers lost 10-8 to the Cincinnati Reds, and remain winless with two ties through five Cactus League games.

Freeman went the other way with two strikes to line a base hit into left field in the first inning. He later reached on a fielder’s choice. Dodgers fans greeted the All-Star first baseman with loud cheers and chanting his name.

“Usually not hearing that from Dodgers fans over the course of my career,” Freeman told Kirsten Watson on the SportsNet LA broadcast. “But it was nice to get a very nice welcome.”

While Freeman’s debut garnered plenty of attention, it was Will Smith, Edwin Rios, Matt Beaty and James Outman who provided run support. Smith’s sacrifice fly gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and Rios’ RBI single put L.A. ahead in the fourth.

After the Reds again tied the game, Beaty and Smith combined for back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Dodgers a 5-2 lead they would ultimately squander. James Outman hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, though L.A. still couldn’t erase their deficit.

Buehler breezed through three scoreless innings before the Reds managed to get on the board with a leadoff homer from Jonathan India in the fourth. Still at only 37 pitches, Buehler remained in the game to start the fifth inning.

He retired the first batter faced but that was followed by a double, RBI single and another base hit. Buehler ended his outing with a strikeout to give him five on the day. He finished at 53 pitches over 4.2 innings and figures to be fully stretched out come Opening Day of the 2022 season.

Heaney struggles in Dodgers debut

At the time of signing before the MLB lockout began, Andrew Heaney said he was eager to work with the Dodgers pitching staff. That of course wound up being interrupted by the work stoppage, and the left-hander’s debut didn’t go well.

After retiring the first batter faced, Heaney allowed back-to-back singles that were followed by a three-run home run. Heaney then hit Donovan Solano with a pitch, and gave up another base hit.

Daniel Robertson took over and promptly surrendered a go-ahead three-run homer to former Dodgers prospect Kyle Farmer.

Heaney was improved upon re-entering the game in the seventh as he completed two scoreless innings.

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