The Dodgers have a slew of good young players. Their nearly-40 trio can still come up big, too.
Rich Hill scattered three hits over seven innings, David Freese went 2 for 3 with a home run, and Russell Martin also went 2 for 3 in helping Los Angeles beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-0 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep in a matchup of the National League’s top two teams.
Hill is 39; Freese and Martin are 36.
“There’s definitely a need for a veteran experience,” Hill said. “That veteran kind of mindset when you get into certain types of situations, it’s good to have that kind of veteran leadership in the clubhouse.”
Hill (2-1) struck out nine and walked three, including a pair of intentional passes to Maikel Franco. He did not allow a hit until J.T. Realmuto singled starting the fifth.
“He was on the attack all day and had those guys guessing,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
The West-leading Dodgers extended their winning streak to five with their seventh series sweep, improving the best home record in the major leagues to 25-7.
East-leading Philadelphia lost four in a row for the first time this season and got swept for the first time.
“We bumped up against a red-hot team,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “They outplayed us.”
Andrew McCutchen singled leading off the sixth, and Cèsar Hernàndez doubled in the seventh for the Phillies’ other hits off Hill.
Freese homered for the second straight game, connecting in the seventh against Vince Velasquez (2-3). Freese entered in the fifth as a defensive replacement at first base and made a leaping, left-handed grab on a sharply hit liner by Bryce Harper that ended the eighth.
“I’m 36 and just about done. I’m here for the ride,” Freese said. “I’m having a blast here and it’s not really about the 40-plus wins. I really love this group here and they treat me well.”
Freese typically knows when he might enter a game but got pressed into action unexpectedly.
“When you get bum-rushed, you’re not really ready,” he said. “My body was not ready.”
Harper was hitless in four at-bats and was 2 for 12 in the series, dropping his average to .248. Rhys Hoskins went 2 for 11 and McCutchen was 2 for 12 over the three games.
Los Angeles matched its highest-scoring inning this season when the Dodgers batted around in the eighth. Alex Verdugo and Freese had RBI singles. Chris Taylor drove in a run with a sacrifice bunt as Freese came home on a throwing error by pitcher Yacksel Rios, careening around third base and nearly falling down. Enriquè Hernàndez hit a sacrifice fly, and Joc Pederson had a two-run homer.
“I didn’t fall?” Freese said, laughing. “I got 180 feet in me and after that I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Phillies starter Nick Pivetta gave up three hits over a season-best six innings, striking out a season-high nine and walking none.
“They’re a good team but we’re a really good team, too,” Pivetta said. “When we face them again down the stretch I expect a close series again.”
Dodgers: LHP Tony Cingrani (left shoulder impingement) will have arthroscopic surgery next week, likely ending his season. … 1B Matt Beaty left the game because of left hip tightness after the fourth inning. … 3B Justin Turner walked as a pinch hitter after missing three straight games with hamstring tightness.
PHILLIES TRADE FOR BRUCE
Philadelphia acquired former All-Star OF Jay Bruce from Seattle for minor league INF Jake Scheiner. The deal will cost Philadelphia just $2.75 million over the next 1½ seasons. Bruce is hitting .212 with 14 homers and 28 RBIs with 53 strikeouts in 184 at-bats.
“Jay Bruce makes our bench stronger and I also think he makes our lineup stronger on days when we’ll see a right-handed pitcher,” Kapler said.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (6-0, 4.18 ERA) starts Monday in the opener of a three-game series at San Diego. He is 1-0 against the Padres, scattering four hits over six scoreless innings last season.
Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (5-1, 4.03) starts at Arizona on Monday. He has a 4.70 ERA in three career starts against the D-backs.
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