Dodgers beat Braves 5-1, take 2 of 3 vs. World Series champs

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — Tony Gonsolin tossed six shutout innings, Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer in the first and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 5-1 Wednesday to take two of three from the defending World Series champions.

The only hit allowed by Gonsolin was Manny Pina’s slow bouncer to the right side leading off the sixth. Second baseman Max Muncy was shifted, and his throw to the bag was a tick slow.

Mitch White gave up consecutive doubles to Matt Olson and Marcell Ozuna with two outs in the ninth.

Gonsolin (1-0) went six shutout innings for the third time in his big league career and first in two years. The right-hander struck out three and walked three. He spent much of last season rehabbing his right shoulder. He started 13 of 15 games and had a 3.23 ERA.

Freeman went 3 of 4 against his former team to close out an emotional reunion.

He visited with his old teammates in their clubhouse before the series opener, reminiscing about winning the Braves’ first World Series title since 1995. Freeman became a free agent and thought he’d be back with the only team he’d ever known, but the Braves signed first baseman Olson. That paved the way for Freeman to return to his Southern California roots on a $162 million, six-year deal with the Dodgers.

Freeman’s line-drive homer to right gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead, a 112.3 mph drive that was his second-hardest-hit home run since Statcast started tracking in 2015. He added singles in the fifth and seventh.

Freeman made a sparkling defensive play on Ozzie Albies‘ groundout to first opening the game. The Dodgers turned three double plays, including two behind Gonsolin.

Edwin Rios homered leading off the fifth. His first of the season landed several rows up in the right-field pavilion and extended the Dodgers’ lead to 3-0.

Cody Bellinger went 2 for 4 with a strikeout in another sign he’s coming out of the offensive slump that has dogged him since last season. His triple to the right-field corner in the sixth drove in Will Smith, who walked, and chased Charlie Morton (1-2).

Morton gave up four runs, six hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings.


Braves: INF Austin Riley was placed on paternity leave. … INF Travis Demeritte was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.

Dodgers: LHP Andrew Heaney (left shoulder discomfort) went on the IL after a solid start to the season. … INF-OF Zach McKinstry was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City and is on the taxi squad. He’ll likely travel with the team to San Diego. … INF-OF Gavin Lux had a second straight day off because of back tightness. He is to return to the lineup Friday.


Braves: Host Miami in a three-game series starting Friday.

Dodgers: Open a six-game trip Friday at San Diego.

Cardinals sign pitcher Miles Mikolas to 3-year, $55.75M deal

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Rhona Wise/USA TODAY Sports

ST. LOUIS — Miles Mikolas is sticking with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The right-hander signed a three-year, $55.75 million contract on Friday that will carry through the 2025 season.

The new deal replaces a $68 million, four-year contract signed in February 2019 that covered the 2020-23 seasons and was set to pay $15.75 million this year.

Mikolas will receive a $5 million signing bonus payable July 1 and will make $18.75 million in 2023 and $16 million in each of the following two seasons. Mikolas can earn a $250,000 bonus for winning a Cy Young Award, $50,000 for All-Star election or selection or winning a Gold Glove, $100,000 for League Championship Series MVP and $150,000 for World Series MVP.

Mikolas is scheduled to make the second opening-day start of his big league career next Thursday when the Cardinals host Toronto. Mikolas went 12-13 with a 3.29 ERA last season while helping St. Louis to the NL Central title.

“Miles stands among the top pitchers in the game today, and has continued to provide a steady presence for us both in the rotation and inside the clubhouse,” St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak said in a statement.

Mikolas is 45-40 with a 3.79 in 143 games with San Diego, Texas and St. Louis. He recently pitched six shutout innings in two appearances for the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic.