DENVER (AP) — Freddie Freeman reached base three times and scored a run in his Dodgers debut, helping Walker Buehler and Los Angeles beat the Colorado Rockies 5-3 in a season opener.
Freeman struck out in his first at-bat. He was then hit by a pitch, walked and lined a sharp single before taking a called third strike in the eighth.
The first baseman and 2020 NL MVP signed a six-year, $162 million deal with Los Angeles after leading the Atlanta Braves to a World Series championship last season.
Colorado’s big offseason acquisition, Kris Bryant, had a double and a walk but struck out against Craig Kimbrel with a runner on to end the game. Bryant agreed to a seven-year, $182 million to be a big bat in the top of the order.
New Broncos quarterback and former Rockies minor leaguer Russell Wilson threw out the first pitch – a perfect strike – to the other new high-profile sports star in Denver, Kris Bryant, and presented him with a signed jersey to kick off Opening Day.
After a scoreless first inning, the Rockies struck first in the bottom of the 2nd. Ryan McMahon doubled to deep left field and moved to third after a Connor Joe single. Randal Grichuk then brought McMahon home as he grounded out to first base.
After an Elias Diaz ground out, new shortstop Jose Iglesias singled to center to send Joe home for a 2-0 Rockies lead.
The Dodgers would chase starter Kyle Freeland in the fourth, when a Gavin Lux singled to center, and Chris Taylor and Will Smith scored to tie the game. Mookie Betts then doubled to left field to bring Lux home. Manager Bud Black pulled Freeland after he issued a walk to Freddie Freeman.
But Trea Turner singled to bring home Betts, and Freeman scored on a Tyler Kinley wild pitch to give the Dodgers a 5-2 lead – runs all charged to Freeland, who finished the day with five earned runs, six strikeouts and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.
Charlie Blackmon would double home Diaz in the 9th to cut the lead, but Bryant struck out to end the game with the tying run at the plate.