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Freddie Freeman helps Dodgers gain rare four-game sweep of Reds

Apr 16, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts (30) celebrates the victory against the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Heaney threw six scoreless innings and Freddie Freeman singled twice in a seven-run fourth inning and finished with four hits as the host Los Angeles Dodgers completed a four-game series sweep of the struggling Cincinnati Reds, 9-1 on Sunday.

Freeman also drove in three runs for the Dodgers, who extended their winning streak to six games and swept a four-game series from Cincinnati for the first time since 1975.

Trea Turner was hitless with a walk in four at-bats to end the majors’ longest active hitting streak at 27 games. Turner lined out sharply to short in the eighth inning to bring the third-longest hitting streak in Dodgers history to a close.

Heaney (1-0) kept the Reds’ batters off balance all day, using his deceptive delivery to rack up 11 strikeouts.

The Reds, meanwhile, continued a miserable stretch of baseball. Not only did they drop their sixth straight game, but they have not had a lead in any of the six games, a drought totaling 54 innings back to their 6-3 win in Atlanta seven days earlier.

The biggest culprit for the Reds has been a disappearance of their offense, including the last three games without star second baseman Jonathan India, who injured his right hamstring in Thursday’s loss to the Dodgers, and starting center fielder Nick Senzel, out with non-COVID illness.

The Reds were outscored 26-7 in the losses to the Dodgers. In its six-game slide, Cincinnati has been routed 43-15.

On Sunday, Tyler Mahle (1-1) gave Cincinnati a good start for three innings, holding the Dodgers to one hit while striking out four. But then Mahle threw 33 of his 73 pitches in a disastrous fourth inning, when the Dodgers blew open a scoreless game.

The Dodgers sent 11 batters to the plate, scoring seven times on six hits. Max Muncy and Chris Taylor each had a two-run double in the frame. Will Smith added an RBI double, and Freeman capped the outburst with a two-run single.

Mahle allowed seven hits and seven runs over 3 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out five.

Even when the Reds appeared certain to end the shutout in the eighth with a first-and-third and none-out situation against lefty reliever Justin Bruihl, they nearly didn’t. Colin Moran hit a sharp grounder to first, where Freeman tapped first base and threw home to easily nab Brandon Drury to complete a double play.

But Tyler Naquin following with a single to right to score Jake Fraley for Cincinnati’s only run.

–Field Level Media