Freeman hits go-ahead 3-run HR in Atlanta homecoming as Dodgers rally, beat Braves 8-6


ATLANTA (AP) — A matchup of teams with the National League's best records was also a comparison of depleted rotations.

Thanks to Freddie Freeman and J.D. Martinez, the Dodgers had more offensive support for their shaky starting pitching. Freeman's three-run homer in the fifth inning gave Los Angeles the lead, Martinez had four hits, including two homers, and the NL West leaders rallied past the Atlanta Braves 8-6 on Monday night.

Dodgers rookie Gavin Stone allowed five runs on five hits and five walks in four innings in his second start for Los Angeles. Another rookie, Bobby Miller, will make his debut on Tuesday night as the Dodgers piece together a patchwork rotation after placing Dustin May (right elbow pain) and left-hander Julio Urías (hamstring) on the injured list. Two other candidates to start, Michael Grove and Ryan Pepiot, also are on the IL.

The Dodgers used a 12-hit outburst to storm back after the Braves took a 4-0 lead in the first.

“It's what good teams do, find a way to win,” Martinez said.

Los Angeles won the opener of a three-game series between the top two teams in the NL. Freeman, a longtime Braves star, made the most of his second Atlanta homecoming with three hits to join Martinez in leading the comeback.

Freeman hit his go-ahead homer off Charlie Morton after Miguel Rojas singled and Mookie Betts walked.

“It felt good,” Freeman said. "Just trying to keep the line moving.”

Added Freeman: “I'm more proud Gavin was able to settle down after the first inning. That was a learning experience.”

Stone threw 34 pitches while facing nine batters in the first. Ronald Acuña Jr. doubled over James Outman in center field for his 23rd hit leading off a game this season. Acuña scored on Sean Murphy’s single.

Stone walked Austin Riley before giving up Eddie Rosario’s three-run homer for a 4-0 lead.

Morton (5-4) couldn’t hold it, allowing six runs in five innings. Freeman’s three-run homer gave the Dodgers a 6-4 lead.

Like the Dodgers, the Braves are seeking help in their rotation after losing Max Fried and Kyle Wright to injuries.

“It looks to me like it's what everybody is having to do,” said Atlanta manager Brian Snitker. “Nobody is immune to it. You see a lot of guys making their major league debuts.”

Evan Phillips (1-0) threw a scoreless fifth. Brusdar Graterol got four outs for his third save.

Freeman doubled in the fourth for a 12-game hitting streak and scored on Max Muncy’s groundout to first base.

Martinez homered off Morton in the second and A.J. Minter in the seventh for his 20th career multi-homer game. The drive in the seventh came after Muncy singled and was caught stealing.

The start of the game was delayed 40 minutes by rain.