ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers completed a four-game sweep of the Freeway Series on Saturday night and headed back home from Orange County to start a well-earned vacation.
That bus ride is only 35 miles. The distance between the two teams at the Los Angeles Metroplex felt closer to 35 light years when the Rolling Dodgers once again wrecked the Wandering Angels.
Tree Turner hit two homers and scored three, Freddie Freeman got his 1,000th career RBI in the ballpark of his childhood, and the Dodgers scored a 7–1 victory in the All-Star Break and a combined 22–3 demolition of their closest. Rolled with rivals.
Max Muncie hit a three-run homer moments after Turner’s two-run shot in the third innings for the Dodgers, who have won 15 of 17. They’ve won 60 games before the All-Star break for the fifth time in franchise history, and nothing suggests the Dodgers will slow down before October.
“Because we are good and we have many good players,” Turner said. “It is not easy to win night and night in this game, but I think we have the roster to do that. It’s up to us, but I think we have the talent to make it happen.”
Freeman hit a milestone RBI with his first career homer at Angel Stadium, while the Dodgers finished the first half 60-30. Thanks to a rare Sunday break from MLB’s scheduler, the win was also his final game before at least five Dodgers took the field at the Chavez Ravens for the All-Star Game on Tuesday night.
“A very special first half for the Dodgers,” Freeman said, having made five multi-hit appearances in his last six games since being dropped from the NL All-Star team. “Sixty wins is a lot of wins in the first half. We’ve been playing very good baseball of late. Sometimes you don’t want the All-Star break to come, but I think we can use the rest.
A night after Clayton Kershaw took a perfect game in the eighth inning, Julio Uriás (8–6) made eight strikeouts in seven innings of a five-hit ball, while improving his last six starts to 5–0. Freeman called Urea “the biggest thug on the All-Star team”.
A yawning gap separates these two franchises: The Dodgers are on their way to their 10th consecutive playoff appearance with an amazing roster and a fruitful farming system, while the incredibly top-heavy Angels (39-53) manage to survive. Massive second-half changes would be needed for their seventh consecutive losing season and eighth straight non-playoff campaign.
Brandon Marsh hit a late inning homer to break the Dodgers’ shutout bid for the second night in a row, but the Angels flopped into the break with their 12th loss in 14 games. Marsh finished seventh, and Shohei Ohtani scored two singles for the 23rd multi-hit game of his second All-Star season.
“After five days, I think maybe a little more helps,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “We’ll get together on Thursday for a little workout and get off the plane to Atlanta. It doesn’t get easy. Being away from it for a while will probably help some people.”
Mike Trout was a late scratch for the Halos, missing his fourth straight game with an upper back spasm. The 10-time All-Star selection was in the Angels lineup until about three minutes before the first pitch.
Trout said he would sleep on it before deciding to pull out of the All-Star Game.
Jose Suarez (1-4) scored six runs on five hits and three walks while failing to get out of the fourth inning for Halos.
Turner warmed to his appearance with a single homer as the Dodgers’ second batsman at the Midsummer Classic, leaving the Angels behind in the first innings on their five-game homestand for the fourth time. After Turner added his shot in the third, Muncie followed up with his first homer in nine games.
local kid makes good
Freeman’s single homer in fifth made him the 298th player in major league history to drive in 1,000 runs – and it was an unforgettable moment for a slugger picked up at Villa Park, just 10 minutes from Angel Stadium. He grew up for the Angels before being drafted by Atlanta, and this was his first time playing in the two-game series Big A since his rookie season.
“This is where I came from as a kid, watching the big leaguers play for the first time in my entire life,” said Freeman, who had a large contingent of family and friends in the stands. “As a kid, you dreamed of becoming a big leaguer, but you never thought you were going to get there.”
Angels: Trout said his back felt wrong while swinging in the cage before the game. Trout has been batting .270 in 79 games this season with 24 homers and 51 RBIs, although he has had just one multi-hit game and six total RBIs in the past three weeks.
Dodgers: Host the Giants on the Thursday after hosting the All-Star festival.
Angels: To begin a six-game road trip Friday in Atlanta.
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