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Freddie Freeman’s 5 RBIs lead Dodgers to victory over Reds

CINCINNATI — Freddie Freeman is getting ready for his close-up.

With his return to Atlanta looming just days away, Freeman drove in five runs and reached base four times, pushing the Dodgers to an 8-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.

Freeman is 15 for his past 39 (.385) with Tuesday’s three-hit game his third in his past 10. More importantly for the Dodgers’ offensive issues of late, he is 22 for 60 (.367) with runners in scoring position this season.

The Dodgers had plenty of runners in scoring position again Tuesday against Reds starter Tyler Mahle. They just didn’t do as much scoring as you would expect, outhitting the Reds 12-4 through the first seven innings but leading just 4-2 at that point.

Ten of the Dodgers’ first 20 batters in the game had hits, including a long ball (a first-inning solo home run by Will Smith) and – gasp! – some small ball.

After Justin Turner doubled off the top of the left-field wall (missing a home run by inches) to start the fourth inning, Eddy Alvarez bunted him to third and Gavin Lux drove him in with a sacrifice fly.

Freeman gave them the lead with a two-run double in the third inning. But he also took the steam out of that potentially big inning with his legs.

Normally a savvy baserunner, Freeman tried to advance from second to third when the throw home on his double bounced wide of home plate. He was thrown out at third for the first out of the inning (a call held up after a lengthy review).

When Smith followed with a single and Chris Taylor a two-out double (one of his two doubles in the game), Freeman’s decision grew more costly.

The Reds responded only with solo home runs in each of the first two innings – one by Jonathan India and one by Albert Amora Jr.

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