Mookie, Freeman, J.D. earn All-Star starting spots, then keep raking

Trio combines for 8 hits, 8 RBIs as Dodgers rout Rockies in rubber game at Coors Field

June 30th, 2023

DENVER -- The Dodgers will be well-represented in the 2023 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, set for July 11 in Seattle.

On Thursday, it was announced that outfielder , first baseman and designated hitter were all named starters for the National League in the Midsummer Classic at T-Mobile Park.

This is the first time the Dodgers have three or more non-pitcher starters in an All-Star Game since 1980, when they had four with Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Reggie Smith.

The trio went on to show exactly why they earned that honor, combining for eight hits and eight RBIs in the Dodgers’ 14-3 blowout win over the Rockies on Thursday night at Coors Field. The start of the rubber game was delayed by nearly two hours due to hail and rain.

“We do appreciate it,” Freeman said of the fan votes. “I just want to say thank you to all the Dodger fans who voted for us and baseball fans who are fans of us. Thank you very much.”

Betts, who announced he will participate in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby for the first time in his career, is making his second consecutive All-Star Game start as a member of the Dodgers, while Freeman and Martinez will be making their first since signing with Los Angeles.

“I think tonight started with Mookie,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I don’t know if it’s him being on the dirt. He felt good, but he was really dynamic tonight. I thought the way his body was moving. He set the tone.”

Betts will be making his seventh All-Star appearance this season. He entered Thursday leading the club with 20 home runs this season, and he has once again been one of the best defenders in the Majors despite playing more infield than previously in his career. He will be joined in the outfield by Arizona’s Corbin Carroll and Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr., who led all players in fan voting.

“It’s always special to be an All-Star Game,” Betts said. It means you’re doing something pretty good, no matter how I feel or what I say, I’m doing something. We got a great group of guys here that, you know, there’s a lot of guys gonna be there.

"It’s a testament to our team, our organization and the coaches.”

As for Freeman, it will be the fourth time he starts a Midsummer Classic after beating the Braves’ Matt Olson in the fan voting. Freeman, once again, has been one of the best hitters in the Majors, leading Los Angeles in just about every offensive category. He will be the first Dodgers first baseman to start an All-Star Game since Garvey (1974-80).

Of the three starters, Martinez had the biggest game on Thursday, going 4-for-6 and hitting his 19th homer of the season -- a two-run blast to cap a six-run fourth inning.

Martinez, now a six-time All-Star, will be starting for the first time since 2018 as a member of the Red Sox. 

After signing a one-year, $10 million deal this offseason, Martinez has been one of the most impactful free-agent signings around MLB. He was reunited with hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc and it has proven to be a boost to Martinez’s production, which suffered during the second-half of the season in ‘22.

“There’s just not a better hitter at Coors and the numbers speak to that,” Roberts said. “And just using the whole field doing what he does. [Those three] have carried us.” 

Though the All-Star trio led the way on Thursday, they did get plenty of help from the rest of the lineup as eight of the nine starters recorded at least one hit. Jason Heyward logged three hits and Max Muncy chipped in with three RBIs.

That was plenty of support for rookie Emmet Sheehan, who had another impressive start considering the circumstances. In his first start at Coors Field, Sheehan allowed just three runs over five innings of work. 

“It was just a good overall performance by everyone, not just us three,” Freeman said. “Max got a couple hits. [Miguel Vargas] got an RBI triple. It was a good game today for a lot of Dodgers.”