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Saturday, July 2, 2022

START: Freeman returns to Atlanta, Pam sees Pederson

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FREDDY READY

Freddie Freeman is sure to get a standing ovation when he returns to Trueist Park for the first time since helping the Atlanta Braves win the World Series.

Now with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the star first baseman and NL West leaders are opening a weekend series at their former home.

Freeman has been a longtime favorite face of the Braves franchise. After a dozen years in Atlanta, he became a free agent and signed a six-year, $162 million contract with the Dodgers.

At 32, he’s hitting .303 with eight home runs and 45 RBIs. He hit a homerade and ran three runs on Thursday in a 10-5 win over Cincinnati.

“I haven’t thought about it yet,” he said after the victory. “I look forward to returning home and meeting my family. They were in Atlanta for a couple of days. I was asked a couple of times and I just said no, not (saying) right now. All I care about is getting home to my family. Tomorrow you can ask me these questions and I will see what emotions I will have tomorrow.

FANTASY

The last time the Giants’ Jock Pederson and the Reds’ Tommy Pham took the field together, things didn’t go so well. It was three weeks ago in Cincinnati when Pham punched Pederson in the face before a game over a fantasy football dispute.

Pham was suspended for three games by Major League Baseball.

The outfielders will see each other again when the Reds visit San Francisco for the weekend. Pederson said he hopes Giants fans don’t go too far when Pham plays at Oracle Park.

“This is an unfortunate incident and I feel like we got past it,” Pederson said. “It was a problem off the field that was resolved and continued. He’s in the rearview mirror.

Pederson added that he had no contact with Pham since the incident.

Cincinnati have lost seven games in a row.

TROUT SIPING

Mike Trout completely crushed the Mariners last weekend and is now facing them again when the Los Angeles Angels take on Seattle.

Trout just hit five home runs in a five-game streak in Seattle. During his career, he hit 52 homers for the Mariners, tying Rafael Palmeiro for the most who played against them.

The three-time AL MVP didn’t play Wednesday and the Angels didn’t play Thursday, so he should be well rested.

Also returning after the weekend is Shohei Ohtani, a two-sided star who put on a couple of dazzling performances for the Angels this week.

On Tuesday night, Otani hit a pair of three-run homers and hit a career-high eight runs, the most by any Japanese-born major league player. On Wednesday night, he scored a career-best 13 points with eight scoreless two-hit innings against Kansas City.

WELCOME

Astros ace Justin Verlander (8-3, 2.30 ERA) plays at Yankee Stadium for the first time since Game 5 of the 2019 AL Championship Series in a 4-1 loss to Houston.

Verlander is 3-4 with a 4.02 ERA in 10 career starts at the park, but he has had some high points too. In 2018, the two-time Cy Young Award winner scored one run to seventh place, then sarcastically lifted his cap to the booing of the fans.

Verlander will take on New York right-hander Luis Severino (4-1, 3.27) on the second night of a four-game matchup between the AL East Yanks and the AL West-leading Astros.

FRANCON BOWL

A pair of growing teams, managed by Terry Francona, meet at Progressive Field when the Boston Red Sox play Cleveland.

Rafael Devers, JD Martinez and the Red Sox won eight of 10 games, pushing an eight-game season high by over .500. The Guardians lead the AL Central, helped by their 17–5 stretch.

Red Sox right-hander Nick Pivetta (7-5, 3.31 ERA) starts the rookie three-game series against right-hander Cal Quantrill (4-4, 3.77).

Francona won two World Series championships while managing the Red Sox, including a win in 2004 that ended the team’s 86-year drought. Cleveland hasn’t won a crown since 1948.

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More MLB Associated Press: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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