The San Diego Padres delivered an unbelievable five-run seventh-inning rally to progress to the NLCS for the first time in 24 years and end the Los Angeles Dodgers' record-breaking season prematurely.

The Padres had lost Game 1 of the NLDS and trailed 3-0 halfway through the seventh inning in Game 4 against the Dodgers, who have dominated them for the past decade and had notched a franchise-best 111-51 regular season.

But San Diego found a way in front of the largest crowd in Petco Park history, booking their maiden NLCS appearance since 1998, where they will take on the Philadelphia Phillies, after they beat the Atlanta Braves 8-3 on Saturday.

Jake Cronenworth delivered a go-ahead two-run single as the Padres rallied with five hits and five runs in the seventh inning after managing only four hits in six innings prior to that.

Freddie Freeman lined a two-run double in the third inning before Will Smith's seventh-inning sacrifice fly for Mookie Betts had put the Dodgers 3-0 up, the latter marking the first run the Padres bullpen had conceded all series.

San Diego responded in a crazy inning, with Austin Nola bouncing to the right side to plate Jurickson Profar, before Kim Ha-seong's left-field line drive drove in Trent Grisham to make it 3-2.

Juan Soto tied the game up with a shot into right field, before Jake Cronenworth's go-ahead two-run double turned the crowd raucous.

Closer Josh Hader struck out Freeman to clinch the win and slay the dragon from down the road at long last.

The defeat ended the campaign for the Dodgers, whose 111 regular-season wins were the fourth-most wins in MLB history and the most by a National League (NL) team since 1906.

Yankees facing elimination after Gonzalez walkoff

Oscar Gonzalez stole the show and the win for the Cleveland Guardians with a two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning to earn a 6-5 win over the New York Yankees and a 2-1 ALDS lead.

Gonzalez hit the walk-off shot when he lined a 1-2 pitch from Clarke Schmidt through the middle to bring home Stevan Kwan and Amed Rosario.

That came after the Yankees had rallied from an early 2-0 deficit as Aaron Judge snapped his postseason skid with a two-run home run. New York had carried a 5-3 lead into the ninth inning.

The Yankees bullpen flopped, meaning they are facing an early exit when the ALDS resumes on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

Astros advance after Pena ends epic

Jeremy Pena blasted an 18th-inning solo shot to advance the Houston Astros to the ALCS for the sixth straight season, ending an epic 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners and completing the sweep.

Luis Garcia closed out six hours and 22 minutes of prolonged postseason action, after Pena sent Penn Murfee into the seats over left-center field with a 415-foot blast.

Mariners starting pitcher George Kirby had been brilliant with five strikeouts across seven innings, but Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr overcame illness to send down seven K's across six innings, while Houston's bullpen only allowed five hits and struck out 15.

The game was only the fourth to last 18 innings in MLB postseason history, and the first in postseason history to go scoreless through 17 innings. 

The San Diego Padres tied up the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a nail-biting 5-3 victory in a game that included five solo home runs on Wednesday.

Manny Machado played a key role going two-for-five, including a first-inning solo homer along with a third-inning RBI, while Jurickson Profar got his fifth RBI this postseason to put the Padres up 4-3 in the sixth inning.

Jake Cronenworth added another with a solo blast over right-field in the eighth inning before Josh Hader closed it out.

Yu Darvish pitched five innings with seven strikeouts but allowed seven hits and three runs.

The Dodgers had their chances, with nine batters left on base, while they did not have a hit with a runner in scoring position all night.

Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy and Trea Turner all scored solo home runs for the Dodgers. Freeman, who went two-for-four, got on base with a ninth-inning double but Will Smith was caught short of the wall in right-field by Juan Soto to end it.

Clayton Kershaw had six K's across five innings for the Dodgers, restoring his position as the MLB's all-time leading postseason strikeout leader with 213.

Pitcher Brusdar Graterol made a key play down 4-3 in the sixth inning, throwing out Wil Myers at home from a Trent Grisham bunt, but the Dodgers could not capitalise with the Padres' bullpen again exceptional, led by Robert Suarez.

The next two games of the NLDS are at Petco Park where the Padres will be playing in front of their fans in a postseason game for the first time since 2006.

Wright leads Braves to level up with Phillies

Kyle Wright threw six stellar innings as the Atlanta Braves squared the NLDS as they blanked the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0.

After a lengthy rain delay, Wright allowed only two hits with one walk, whilst striking out six Phillies, before reliever A.J. Minter pitched a perfect seventh inning.

The Braves piled on all three runs in the sixth inning with three consecutive two-out singles, as Ronald Acuna Jr overcame a 96mph fastball from Zack Wheeler to his elbow to break the tie, driven in by Matt Olson whose line hit got by first baseman Rhys Hoskins on an in-between hop.

Austin Riley's gentle dribble got Dansby Swanson to home plate, before Travis d'Arnaud grounded to center-field to drive in Olson.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have set a new franchise record for wins in a single season after notching their 107th victory of the MLB campaign against the San Diego Padres.

The California outfit posted a 1-0 victory over their neighbours at Petco Park on Wednesday to shatter their previous best of 106, set last year as they came home fifth in the National League (NL) West division.

This time around, the Dodgers sit top of the pile, with only last year's World Series runners-up, the Houston Astros, cracking the triple-digit mark for wins this term. The Dodgers can still better their new record, with seven regular season games to come.

Ex-NL MVP Freddie Freeman made the clutch play in the 10th inning for a career-high 192 hits this season to secure the win, delighting manager Dave Roberts.

"To know that we’ve made our mark on Dodgers history is pretty remarkable," he said. "A lot of people have their hands on this, not just this year but, kind of building where we’re at right now. It’s something to be proud of."

With the postseason looming, the Dodgers will be looking to ensure momentum ahead of a tilt for a second World Series title in three years.

The New York Yankees slumped to their 10th loss from their past 12 games and were shut out for the second straight game as they lost 4-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday.

The Rays were fueled by Isaac Paredes' fourth-inning RBI, after Aaron Hicks' fielding error allowed a David Peralta triple, before piling on three ninth-inning runs with Yandy Diaz driving in two.

But it was another nightmare for the Yankees, who have been shut out four times in August, with a .372 slugging percentage and 3.5 runs per game this month.

Aaron Hicks had a chance to atone for his fielding error with bases loaded in the fourth inning but grounded into a double play.

MLB home-run leader Aaron Judge suffered a similar fate while trailing 1-0 in the eighth inning.

It is the first time the Yankees have been shut out in consecutive games since 2016.

The Yankees have now lost 11 of their past 14 games and hold a 72-44 record, falling behind the Houston Astros (75-42) to be the American League's top seed.

Freeman and Lux blast Dodgers to 80th win

The Los Angeles Dodgers became the first team to 80 wins in the majors this season with a 4-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Freddie Freeman blasted his first home run in 20 games in the first inning, while Gavin Lux landed a two-run homer at the top of the sixth.

Julio Urias dealt six strikeouts across five innings as the Dodgers moved to 80-34, clear of the next best in the National League, the New York Mets (75-41) after their 13-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves (71-46).

Ohtani impressive but Angels clipped

MVP candidate Shohei Ohtani tossed eight strikeouts across six innings but the Seattle Mariners pulled away with four ninth-inning runs to win 6-2 over the Los Angeles Angels.

Luis Rengifo tied it up at 1-1 in first inning when outfielders Julio Rodriguez and Mitch Haniger collided on the wall, spilling the ball above the home-run mark.

It was all square going into the ninth inning, but Sam Haggerty scored in a wild play, followed up by Dylan Moore as catcher Max Stassi could not hold a tag attempt, with runs to Julio Rodriguez and Ty France padding the win.

League leader Aaron Judge continued his remarkable form after the All-Star Game with his 43rd home run of the season as the New York Yankees flexed with a 7-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday.

Judge made majors history with his 10th home run since the All-Star Game, joining Albert Belle in achieving that feat in only 12 games after the break.

The Yankees outfielder had hit a first-inning double, before Anthony Rizzo's three-run blast – his 26th home run of the season – opened up an early 3-0 lead.

Judge took center stage in the second inning with his home run putting the Yankees up 5-1, marking 12 blasts in his past 14 games.

Jose Trevino got in on the act, after a lean month, with home runs in the fourth and eighth innings for his first career multi-homer game.

The result keeps the Yankees top of the American League (AL) East with a 70-34 record, while the Mariners are second in the AL West with a 55-49 record.

Judge leads the majors for home runs this season with 43 with a league-high .680 slugging percentage, batting at .299 with 89 runs, 115 hits and 93 RBIs.

 

Hot property Soto stars as Mets see off Nats

Amid trade speculation, Juan Soto underlined his value with the Washington Nationals with a fine all-round performance in their 7-3 loss to the New York Mets.

Soto showed off his speed around the bases to score for 1-0 in the first inning, before some brilliance from the outfield saw him throw out runner Tomas Nido on the home plate.

After Pete Alonso's 27th blast of the season put the Mets 4-1 up, Soto returned fire with his own home run in the fourth inning, his 21st of the year.

Francisco Lindor's sixth inning homer rounded out the win for the Mets who improve to 65-37.

 

Dodgers too strong for Giants

Max Muncy and Trea Turner both homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers proved too good for National League (NL) West rivals San Francisco Giants 8-2.

Muncy's second-inning two-run blast put the Dodgers ahead after Darin Ruf scored in the first, with Freddie Freeman driving in Mookie Betts in the fourth to open up a 4-1 lead.

Turner unleashed his 17th home run of the season at the top of the seventh inning with a fly ball to center field to settle the contest, helping the Dodgers move to 69-33 at the top of the NL West.

Nolan Arenado sparked a record string of home runs and hit the game-winning drive for the St. Louis Cardinals, in their 7-6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

With two outs in the first inning, Arenado, Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez and Dylan Carson sent Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Gibson deep, making it the first time in MLB history a team connected for four straight home runs in the opening frame.

The game was tied at 6-6 in the ninth inning when Arenado hit another home run, this time sending Seranthony Dominguez over left field.

Arenado's game-winning performance from four at-bats was impressive enough in isolation, before considering it was backing up from hitting for cycle in Friday's 5-3 defeat to the Phillies.

The Cardinals moved to within a game of the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers, moving their record for the season to 44-36.

Yankees sweep Guardians in double-header 

The New York Yankees are running away with the American League East, taking both games in a double-header against the Cleveland Guardians.

Matt Carpenter homered twice in the opening 13-4 win, before Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton hit consecutive home runs and Nestor Cortes shut the Guardians down for six innings, for the 6-1 win in the later game.

The Yankees are 25-6 since May 31, holding a seven-game lead over the Houston Astros in the AL and at 58-21, hold the franchise's second-best record over 79 games.

Freeman leads Dodgers to victory

Freddie Freeman continued his strong form for the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting the first of three home runs in the opening inning of their 7-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Freeman, who leads the Dodgers for OBP at .391 for the season, hit his sixth home run since the start of June after sending Yu Darvish deep. Will Smith and Justin Turner then followed up with solo shots off Darvish to set up the victory.

The Dodgers are now one off 50 wins for the season, moving to 49-28 and extending their lead in the NL over the New York Mets to 1.5 games.

Nolan Arenado sparked a record string of home runs and hit the game-winning drive for the St. Louis Cardinals, in their 7-6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

With two outs in the first inning, Arenado, Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez and Dylan Carson sent Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Gibson deep, making it the first time in MLB history a team connected for four straight home runs in the opening frame.

The game was tied at 6-6 in the ninth inning when Arenado then hit another home run, this time sending Seranthony Dominguez over left field.

Arenado's game-winning performance from four at-bats was impressive enough in isolation, before considering it was backing up from hitting for cycle in Friday's 5-3 defeat to the Phillies.

The Cardinals moved to within a game of the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers, moving their record for the season to 44-36.

Yankees sweep Guardians in double-header 

The New York Yankees are running away with the American League East, taking both games in a double-header against the Cleveland Guardians.

Matt Carpenter homered twice in the opening 13-4 win, before Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton hit consecutive home runs and Nestor Cortes shut the Guardians down for six innings, for the 6-1 win in the later game.

The Yankees are 25-6 since May 31, holding a seven-game lead over the Houston Astros in the AL and at 58-21, hold the franchise's second-best record over 79 games.

Freeman leads Dodgers to victory

Freddie Freeman continued his strong form for the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting the first of three home runs in the opening inning of their 7-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Freeman, who leads the Dodgers for OBP at .391 for the season, hit his sixth home run since the start of June after sending Yu Darvish deep. Will Smith and Justin Turner then followed up with solo shots off Darvish to set up the victory.

The Dodgers are now one off 50 wins for the season, moving to 49-28 and extending their lead in the NL over the New York Mets to 1.5 games.

Freddie Freeman's emotions were "all over the place" when he faced the Braves for the first time in April – and it was more of the same in Friday's return to Atlanta.

Freeman spent 12 seasons with the Braves, earning five All-Star appearances and the NL MVP trophy in 2020, before signing a six-year, $162million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers this past offseason.

The first baseman's first two home runs for the Dodgers then came in a three-game series against the Braves in LA earlier this season.

But this week has brought Freeman back to Atlanta for the first time since helping to inspire the Braves' World Series success last year.

Friday started with Freeman struggling to contain his emotions as he fulfilled pre-game media duties, briefly leaving the interview room at Truist Park in tears and returning to say: "I don't even know how I'm going to get through this weekend, guys, if I'm being honest."

There were more tears as he received his championship ring from Braves manager Brian Snitker following a video tribute on the center-field screen.

"I know I have a different uniform on," he said to the crowd on Bally Sports, "but I still love each and every one of you guys."

Freeman then had to get to work, but the tributes did not stop. The Braves' organist played 'We Are The Champions' as he came to bat in the top of the first inning, earning another standing ovation.

"It's hard to put into words," Freeman told Spectrum SportsNet after two walks, one hit and two runs scored in the Dodgers' 4-1 win.

"I left everything I had on this field, every single night, and I think they understood that. I love them very, very much, and they showed me the love tonight.

"I'm so glad I got walked, because I couldn't feel my legs – I couldn't feel my legs for a few innings, to be honest with you. It was emotional, and I am worn out."

He added: "I tried to envision what tonight was going to be like, and this far exceeded my expectations. It was just a special, special evening."

Aaron Judge hit a game-winning single to cap a four-run ninth inning for the New York Yankees in their 7-6 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday.

Aaron Hicks started the late rally for the Pinstripes, tying the game with a three-run home run off Astros closer Ryan Pressly.

Alex Bregman and Giancarlo Stanton traded three-run homers in the first inning, while Yordan Alvarez also added a three-run shot in the third off Jameson Taillon to put the Astros ahead.

The Yankees took the opener of a highly anticipated four-game series between the American League's two best records with the win, as the Astros kick off a six-game stand in New York, taking both games from the Mets earlier this week in Houston.

The American League leaders moved to 52-18 for the season and claimed their 19th win in the past 22 games, heading into Judge's in-season salary arbitration on Friday.

Swanson seals win for Braves

Dansby Swanson hit two home runs for the Atlanta Braves, who were able to hold out against the San Francisco Giants in a 7-6 victory.

Swanson had three hits and three RBIs as the Braves built a 7-1 lead coming into the fifth inning. Six Giants players scored multiple hits, with Austin Slater's home run starting the rally in the fifth.

They were not able to capitalise on the higher hit count however, as the Braves moved 11 games over .500 with their 18th win in the past month.

Freeman fires Dodgers to victory

Freddie Freeman's form continued in the absence of Mookie Betts, leading the way for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their 10-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Freeman claimed a home run and three RBIs, moving his OBP for the season to a team-leading .386, while Max Muncy and Trea Turner each tallied three hits.

Clayton Kershaw allowed just one run and seven hits in six innings for the National League West leaders, striking out seven in 80 pitches and lowering his ERA for the season to 2.00.

The New York Yankees extended their winning streak to nine games on Saturday, shutting the Toronto Blue Jays out 4-0 on the road.

Jameson Taillon was in impressive form on the mound for the Pinstripes against their divisional rivals, allowing only four hits and striking out eight and managing 14 first-pitch strikes out of 22 batters faced over 88 pitches.

Allowing all four runs and six hits in just over five innings for the Blue Jays, walking one and striking out five, Alek Manoah lost for the first time in 16 career home starts.

Aaron Hicks gave the Yankees important early momentum with a three-run drive off Manoah in the second inning, in an otherwise off night for the top of the batting order.

Improving to 49-16 for the season – leading the Blue Jays by 12 games in the American League East - the Yankees will next face Blue Jays left-hander Yusei Kikuchi, who also ended their 11-game win streak in May.

Willson wins in Contreras match-up

Willson Contreras led the way for the Chicago Cubs against younger brother William and the Atlanta Braves, with the Cubs winning 6-3.

Both starting at catcher on Saturday, the two brothers embraced at home plate before Willson's first at-bat, in what was their first meeting in the major leagues. The older Contreras went on to claim three hits and a stolen base in the win.

Kyle Wright gave up a career-high 11 hits, a day after the Cubs snapped the Braves' 14-game winning streak, which broke their own sequence of 10 consecutive losses.

Freeman the fuel as Dodgers hit 40

Freddie Freeman had three hits and Trea Turner homered for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who secured a 7-1 victory over the Cleveland Guardians.

Julio Urias pitched solidly for the Dodgers, giving up only two hits and two walks while striking out six over 87 pitches in six innings to secure his first win since May.

The Dodgers became the fifth team to reach 40 wins for the year, taking a lead of half a game in the National League West over the San Diego Padres.

Max Fried starred with eight strikeouts across seven innings as the Atlanta Braves won 3-1 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

Braves left-hander Fried went perfect across the first five innings, before allowing two hits, while Freddie Freeman was quelled against his former side.

The Dodgers' only run of the game, scored by Chris Taylor, came in the eighth inning once Fried had been relieved, with Kenley Jansen closing it out in the ninth.

Travis d'Arnaud hit a solo home run at the top of the second inning, before Orlando Arcia's RBI double in the fourth and Austin Riley's single on a line drive for Ozzie Albies to score in the fifth.

 

Franco's maiden 2022 blast... at last

Wander Franco blasted his first home run of 2022 in a three-hit game as the Tampa Bay Rays won 6-5 over the Chicago Cubs.

Franco had missed Monday's game to rest his right quad but returned in style with a two-run homer on a 2-0 pitch in the third inning.

The young Rays star has now had seven multi-hit performances across 11 games this Major League season. Franco is a joint leader in the majors for hits, with 19.

"He's unique, special, talented, and we're seeing it in every part of his game," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

 

Vintage Scherzer and Perez

Reliever Clarke Schmidt stepped up for the New York Yankees after Gerrit Cole's early struggles by tossing down six strikeouts in their 4-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. Cole had walked four batters, included with base loaded.

Max Scherzer was at his vintage best with 10 strikeouts in the New York Mets' 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants, which backed up their earlier 5-4 victory on a double-header.

Salvador Perez put aside blurry vision to slug two home runs as the Kansas City Royals won 4-3 over the Minnesota Twins.

Freddie Freeman said his emotions were "all over the place" as he hit his first home run for his new club, the Los Angeles Dodgers, against his former team in a 7-4 win against the Atlanta Braves.

Freeman spent 12 seasons with the Braves, earning five All-Star appearances and an MVP trophy in 2020, and faced them for the first time on Monday since signing a six-year, $162million deal with the Dodgers this past offseason.

In his first at-bat, from just the second pitch he saw, he blasted a home run over the fence at left-center, and later scored a second run when he was brought home by Trea Turner's base-clearing double in the fourth inning.

"Obviously there's just a lot of emotion going on right now," Freeman said afterwards. "But a lot of good emotion.

"I’m just happy to be able to see all the guys. We won a championship together last year, so that's what we're all talking about over there.

"I love every single person on [the Braves'] side of that field – but I do hope they don’t do good for these next three games.”

When asked if the game represented some closure for Freeman, he insisted that was not the case.

"I don't know if any of us are really looking for closure," he said. 

"I had a great 12 years; I'm not trying to close anything. I'm just trying to move on, obviously. 

"But I had so many great memories with the Braves, with the guys over there. That's always going to be there, I think."

He added: "As the game went on, there were a couple smiles here and there from staff members and people I spent a lot of time with.

"It's just a special day, one I'll always remember."

Early National League Rookie of the Year favourite Seiya Suzuki continued the remarkable start to his MLB career on Monday with another two hits in the Chicago Cubs' 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Suzuki, 27, was named National League Player of the Week in his first full week in the majors, and with his first of two hits on Monday, he tied Akinori Iwamura for the longest hitting streak by a Japanese player to start their career at nine games.

He is also the first Cub to hit safely in the first nine games of their career (with an official at-bat) since 1943. He sits fifth in the majors in batting average (.429) and is tied for fourth in home runs (four).

Of the Cubs' four runs, Suzuki scored two, as he was driven in by a Patrick Wisdom two-run homer in the second inning, before getting hit by a pitch in the seventh inning, eventually coming around to score again off an Ian Happ hit.

With the Cubs up 3-2 in the eighth inning, Frank Schwindel gave Chicago a little breathing room with a solo home run for the last score of the game.

Despite the loss, it was a terrific performance on the mound for Rays Cy Young candidate Shane McClanahan, striking out nine batters in six innings, allowing only four hits and no walks for one earned run.

Yelich grand slams for Brewers

Leading 2-1 in the fourth inning, Christian Yelich stepped up to the plate with bases loaded and slogged a massive 429-foot grand slam to give the Milwaukee Brewers their 6-1 final score against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Brewers starting pitcher Eric Lauer was excellent, striking out five batters in six innings, conceding only one run and six baserunners in the process.

Freeman goes deep against old friends

After spending the first 12 years of his MLB career with the Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman hit a home run against them in the first inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 7-4 home win against his visiting former team.

From just the second pitch he faced against his old side, Freeman hammered it for a 386-foot home run to center field for the early lead.

The Braves rallied in the sixth frame to get Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw out of the game with seven strikeouts and four earned runs through five complete innings, but it was not enough to deny the Dodgers their seventh consecutive win to move to the best record in the majors at 8-2.

National League Rookie of the Year favourite Seiya Suzuki registered a hit in the eighth consecutive start of his career after a home run in the Chicago Cubs' 6-4 away win against the Colorado Rockies.

The 27-year-old, who arrived from the Hiroshima Carp this off-season on a five-year, $85million deal made more history with his home run, becoming the second Japanese player to ever start his career with an eight-game hitting streak, and the third Cubs player in the past 100 years to start a season that way,

With a hit in his next game, Suzuki will tie Akinori Iwamura for the record for longest hitting streak to start a MLB career for a player coming from Japan, which happened in 2007 for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Suzuki's home run was his fourth of the season – trailing only C.J. Kron and Vladimir Guerrero Jr (five each) for most home runs in the entire MLB.

It came at an important time on Sunday, after the Rockies had cut the Cubs' 5-0 lead back to 5-3 going into the seventh inning, before Suzuki tacked on the extra insurance run.

Nick Madrigal was also terrific for the Cubs, going three-for-five at the plate, including a double, while the biggest hit of the game was Ryan McMahon's 447-foot two-run blast for the Rockies in the sixth inning.

Freeman and Heaney fit right in as Dodgers sweep Reds

Freddie Freeman had four hits and three RBIs as the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds, claiming a 9-1 win on Sunday.

Andrew Heaney struck out 11 over six innings in a scoreless home debut, while Max Muncy, Will Smith and Chris Taylor.

Heaney was dominant, posting his 15th career start with at least 10 strikeouts, while walking three and only allowing a double from Kyle Farmer in the third inning.

Darvish bounces back against Braves

Yu Darvish pitched into the seventh inning as the San Diego Padres beat the Atlanta Braves 2-1 with only three hits.

Following the shortest outing of his career, not even covering two innings against the San Francisco Giants on the prior Tuesday, the 35-year-old allowed his only run against the reigning World Series champions via Marcell Ozuna's home run in the seventh.

Taylor Rogers closed out the four-hitter for San Diego, to save what was an otherwise off day at the plate for the Padres, with Jake Cronenworth particularly going zero-for-three.

Freddie Freeman vowed to never forget his winning home Los Angeles Dodgers debut, saying: "I don't think it could have gone much better than that."

Freeman joined the Dodgers in free agency after leaving the Atlanta Braves, where he won the World Series last season, the National League MVP the year before and was a five-time All-Star.

The 32-year-old first baseman had made a steady start to life as a Dodger prior to Thursday's game against the Cincinnati Reds, batting .286/.375/.381 with six hits and two runs through five games.

But against the Reds in the first game of the year at Dodger Stadium, Freeman gave a flavour of why Los Angeles had invested $162million over six years in him.

Freeman finished with two hits and two runs, with his leadoff double at the bottom of the eighth with the game tied setting in motion a six-run inning that prompted his name to be chanted by the home crowd and sealed a 9-3 win.

"That's as special as it gets right there," Freeman said.

"You have those feelings before, coming out on the line for the intros, but usually once the game starts those feelings go away. For the fans to be able to create a moment for me in the eighth inning is something I'll never forget.

"It's definitely been nice. The last month has been pretty special, from the first game at [spring training] to tonight, they've been welcoming me with open arms.

"First game at Dodger Stadium with the Dodgers, I don't think it could have gone much better than that."

The 4-2 Dodgers have three more games against the Reds this weekend before the Braves visit LA next week in what is sure to be a big series for Freeman, who was unhappy with the nature of his exit from Atlanta.

Playing at Dodger Stadium as a Brave, Freeman batted .296/.353/.512 with seven home runs in 33 regular season games.

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