ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman returned to his former home and couldn’t stop crying.
Trea Turner has returned to his former home and hasn’t stopped hitting.
Turner had his second consecutive three-hit game Friday night as the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves, 4-1, in the first game of a three-game series at Truist Park.
Primarily a leadoff hitter throughout his career, Turner returned to that spot a week ago when Mookie Betts went to the injured list with a cracked rib. In seven games back on top, Turner has gone 15 for 32 with two doubles, two home runs, seven runs scored and five RBIs.
The Dodgers’ fourth consecutive win also came with a loss, however.
With one out in the eighth inning, veteran reliever Daniel Hudson’s left knee buckled when he delivered a pitch and pivoted the opposite way to try and chase a weak grounder off Ronald Acuña Jr.’s bat.
Hudson fell to the ground in obvious pain and had to be helped off the field by a trainer. With Blake Treinen and Tommy Kahnle already subjected from the Dodgers’ bullpen, a serious injury that also robbed them of Hudson could make pitching – both starting and relief – a must-get before the Aug. 2 trade deadline.
That was a sour note on a night that began with a sellout crowd feting Freeman pregame in a ceremony that saw him receive his 2021 World Series championship ring.
When that was over, the Dodgers went to work trying to maintain the offensive momentum they built in a sweep of the woeful Cincinnati Reds.
Turner led off with a single and each of the Dodgers’ first four hitters against Braves starter Ian Anderson reached base. After a minute-long standing ovation, Freeman drew a walk – the first of three times he reached base against his former team (two walks and a single). An RBI single from Will Smith drove in Turner with the first run of the game. After Max Muncy walked, Justin Turner drove in another run with a sacrifice fly and the Dodgers sent Julio Urias to the mound with a lead.
Facing a Braves team that had won 18 of its first 21 games this month while averaging 6⅓ runs per game, Urias continued his own June surge.
He allowed just one hit in the first five innings, showing more life on his fastball than has been seen most of this season. Urias’ four-seam fastball averaged 93.4 mph – a jump from his season average of 92.6 mph – and got 12 of the 20 swings-and-misses he induced from the Braves.
A Trea Turner home run in a two-run fifth gave Urias a 4-0 lead before he ran into his only trouble of the night in the sixth. Two soft singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out for the middle of the Braves’ lineup.
Matt Olson drove in one run with a sacrifice fly but Urias struck out Marcell Ozuna, hitting 95 mph with his season-high 94th pitch of the night.
In four starts this month, Urias has allowed just four earned runs on 11 hits in 23⅓ innings while striking out 29.
More to come on this story.