Freeman joins 300-HR/1,000-RBI club, calls Dad

Slugger becomes just second player to hit a grand slam for No. 300

May 19th, 2023

ST. LOUIS -- Dodgers first baseman had a special phone call to make after hitting his 300th career home run on Thursday night against the Cardinals.

“Call my dad tonight and we'll talk about it, just enjoy it for the night,” Freeman said. “Tomorrow, worry about tomorrow's game. But tonight was kind of cool.”

Freeman reached the 300-homer milestone in style in the series opener with a grand slam in the top of the sixth off St. Louis reliever Génesis Cabrera.

The blast ignited a rally, as followed with a solo shot in the next inning to cut what was a seven-run deficit to just one run, but a taxed bullpen ran out of gas late and the Cardinals pulled away as the Dodgers fell, 16-8, in the first of a four-game series.

“Most people, if they didn't watch our game, they're going to look at the box score and think that we got blown out,” Freeman said. “I'm actually proud of the group. We came back, clawed back and made them use high-leverage guys.”

Freeman blasted a 95.6-mph fastball a Statcast-projected 412 feet over the center-field wall to cut the Dodgers’ deficit to 9-7. It was his eighth homer of the season.

Freeman just missed hitting the mark by a few feet in the top of the fifth, as his line drive went off the top of the right-field wall for a triple.

With this milestone in tow, Freeman became the 144th player in NL/AL history with at least 300 home runs and 1,000 RBIs. He is one of just seven active players with that distinction, joining Miguel Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Joey Votto, Evan Longoria, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado (who achieved the feat on Wednesday with his 1,000th RBI).

“It was good to see us fight back,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Freddie got 300, that was a big hit, the grand slam. We showed some life, showed some fight.”

Freeman also became the fifth player to reach 300 homers in a Dodgers uniform, joining Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Gary Sheffield and Adrián González.

Only one other player hit No. 300 with a grand slam: Ruben Sierra in 2004.

“I think I've only hit 30 [homers] three times, so I've had to play a long time to be able to get there,” Freeman said. “So health, taking care of myself, making sure I'm out there every day, that's what I'm more proud of. You guys know 162 is a big number for me. So, I pride myself on that, and then numbers will take care of itself.”

Freeman and Muncy’s homers were part of a record-setting nine total long balls hit at Busch Stadium III in the game. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, the other seven were struck by the Cardinals, the highest total in a home game for St. Louis since May 7, 1940, against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Willson Contreras hit a pair of three-run homers, while Nolan Gorman also hit two. Arenado, Juan Yepez and Paul DeJong had the others.

The onslaught started with four dingers against in the third inning. Contreras started the rally with a 434-foot blast over the center-field wall. Yepez, Gorman and DeJong capped the rally by going back to back to back.

In all, the Cardinals hit a projected 1,596 feet worth of homers off Urías in the frame.

“Those pitches are mistakes, and clearly he's making a lot more mistakes than we're accustomed to,” Roberts said. “And again, you can see today, you know, there were some uncharacteristic walks, and he was fighting himself. Even with the pitch clock, I just didn't see a consistent rhythm from pitch one tonight.”

Urías has allowed 14 home runs this season in 55 1/3 innings, after allowing just 23 in 175 innings in 2022. Two of the homers on Thursday night came off his changeup, which has yielded five homers this season. Urías allowed just two long balls off the changeup a season ago.

The left-hander has also continued to struggle away from Dodger Stadium. He fell to 1-3 on the road and his ERA ballooned to 7.61, compared to a 4-1 record and a 1.99 ERA at home.

“I've got to do a better job of executing pitches and work through that,” Urías said through an interpreter.

The short outing taxed an already shorthanded bullpen. Dodgers relievers had to cover 21 innings in the previous three-game series against the Twins, including eight on Wednesday following Dusty May's early exit after just 16 pitches with what was diagnosed as a right forearm strain.

, who was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City before the game, gave the Dodgers 3 1/3 valuable innings. All three runs he allowed came in his final one-third of an inning.

“He was throwing the baseball well,” Roberts said. “He gave us everything he had and, you know, I tried to get him through that fourth inning. Playing from behind the whole night, I didn't want to use any of the leverage guys, and we got a few guys that were down as well.”