LEADING OFF: Freeman returns to Atlanta, Pham sees Pederson

Jun 23, 2022, 10:30 AM | Updated: 10:31 pm

Los Angeles Dodgers' Freddie Freeman (5) scores on a triple hit by Trea Turner during the sixth inn...

Los Angeles Dodgers' Freddie Freeman (5) scores on a triple hit by Trea Turner during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:



Freddie Freeman is sure to get a huge ovation when he returns to Truist Park for the first time since helping lead the Atlanta Braves to the World Series championship.

Now with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the star first baseman and the NL West leaders open a weekend series at his former home.

Freeman was the longtime beloved face of the Braves franchise. After a dozen years in Atlanta, he became a free agent and signed a $162 million, six-year deal with the Dodgers.

At 32, he’s hitting .303 with eight home runs and 45 RBIs. He homered and drove in three runs Thursday in a 10-5 win at Cincinnati.

“I haven’t really thought about it yet,” he said after the victory. “Just looking forward to getting home and seeing my family. They’ve been in Atlanta for a couple days. I’ve been asked a couple times, and I just kind of say no, not (talking) right now. All I care about is getting home to my family. Tomorrow you can ask me those questions, and I’ll see what kind of emotions I have going on tomorrow.”


The last time Joc Pederson of the Giants and Tommy Pham of the Reds were on the field together, it didn’t go so good. That was three weeks ago in Cincinnati when Pham slapped Pederson in the face before a game because of a dispute over fantasy football.

Pham was suspended for three games by Major League Baseball.

The outfielders will see each other again when the Reds visit San Francisco for a weekend series. Pederson said he hopes Giants fans don’t take it too far when Pham is playing at Oracle Park.

“It’s an unfortunate incident, and I feel like we’ve moved past it,” Pederson said. “It was an off-field issue, handled and moved on. It’s in the rear-view mirror.”

Pederson added he’s had no contact with Pham since the incident.

Cincinnati has lost seven in a row.


Mike Trout absolutely hammered the Mariners last weekend and now gets to face them again when the Los Angeles Angels host Seattle.

Trout is fresh from hitting five home runs in a five-game series at Seattle. He’s hit 52 homers in his career off the Mariners, matching Rafael Palmeiro for the most by anyone against them.

The three-time AL MVP didn’t play Wednesday and the Angels were off Thursday, so he should be well rested.

Also back from a day off will be Shohei Ohtani, the two-way star who put on a pair of dazzling performances for the Angels this week.

On Tuesday night, Ohtani hit a pair of three-run homers and drove in a career-high eight runs, the most by a Japanese-born player in the major leagues. On Wednesday night, he struck out a career-best 13 while pitching eight scoreless innings of two-hit ball against Kansas City.


Astros ace Justin Verlander (8-3, 2.30 ERA) pitches at Yankee Stadium for the first time since Game 5 of the 2019 AL Championship Series, a 4-1 Houston loss.

Verlander is 3-4 with a 4.02 ERA in 10 career starts at the park, but he’s had some high moments, too. In 2018, the two-time Cy Young Award winner pitched one-run ball into the seventh, then sarcastically tipped his cap to booing fans.

Verlander will face New York righty Luis Severino (4-1, 3.27) on the second night of a four-game set between the AL East-leading Yanks and AL West-leading Astros.


A pair of surging teams that Terry Francona has managed meet up at Progressive Field when the Boston Red Sox play Cleveland.

Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez and the Red Sox have won eight of 10 to move a season-high eight games over .500. The Guardians lead the AL Central, boosted by their 17-5 stretch.

Red Sox right-hander Nick Pivetta (7-5, 3.31 ERA) starts the opener of the three-game series against righty Cal Quantrill (4-4, 3.77).

Francona won two World Series championships while managing the Red Sox, including the 2004 victory that ended the team’s 86-year drought. Cleveland hasn’t won the crown since 1948.


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

LEADING OFF: Freeman returns to Atlanta, Pham sees Pederson