May 29, 2024

Freddie Freeman made some personal history in the first inning.

The rest of Friday night, however, offered little to remember for a Dodgers team simply running out the stretch.

The best things that can be said about the Dodgers’ 5-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants?

That they made it through another night without more injuries, the team’s primary goal for the final two weeks with their postseason positioning as the likely No. 2 seed all but set.

And that there’s one fewer inconsequential contest on their schedule.

Friday night did start with a much-anticipated bang, when Freeman rolled a single to right field for his 200th hit of the season.

“I’ve always had my sights set on it,” Freeman said. “It means you’re in there a lot, you’re healthy, you’re playing every day and you had a pretty good year.”

It marked the first time in Freeman’s 14-year career he had reached the 200-hit mark, a particularly meaningful stat for a seven-time All-Star who values getting on base above all else.

It was the first time a Dodgers player had reached the milestone since Adrian Beltre in 2004, and just the 27th occurrence in franchise history.

It also made Freeman just the 21st player in MLB history — as well as the first-ever first baseman or Dodgers player at any position — to have 200 hits, 25 home runs and 20 steals in a single season.

“I think his season as a whole, it’s unprecedented,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It seems like every night we’re always tipping our cap to Freddie on some accomplishment.”

Indeed, as Freeman pulled into first base, a sellout crowd of 52,887 stood in applause, breaking out a “Fred-die! Fred-die!” chant that has become a familiar refrain around Chavez Ravine since his arrival last season.

Dodgers relief pitcher Ryan Yarbrough delivers against the Giants in the seventh inning Friday.

Dodgers relief pitcher Ryan Yarbrough delivers against the Giants in the seventh inning Friday.

(Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

The rest of the night was about as memorable as a dreamless sleep.

The Dodgers used a bulk pitcher, Gavin Stone, who is likely to be one of the odd men out of their playoff pitching staff.

While he took down 4⅓ innings, following a scoreless first from left-hander Caleb Ferguson, Stone also gave up three runs on a pair of homers, leaving his ERA at an even 9.00 — 31 runs allowed in 31 innings — in his debut season.

Stone was replaced by a more integral part of the Dodgers’ October pitching plans, making way for swingman Ryan Yarbrough to go the rest of the way.

Yarbrough, a sidearm-throwing trade deadline acquisition, was having a strong outing before Giants rookie Tyler Fitzgerald snuck a two-run homer over the short wall in left field in the ninth, raising Yarbrough’s ERA with the Dodgers to 3.12 in 10 appearances.

By then, however, the Dodgers already wasted their best chance.

After being shut out over the first seven innings by Sean Manaea, who came into the game with a 9.00 career ERA against the club before limiting them to three hits with two strikeouts, the Dodgers got a lifeline in the bottom of the eighth.

With two outs, Giants catcher Patrick Bailey failed to catch the ball on a swinging third strike from Jason Heyward, allowing Heyward to run to first and the inning to continue.

Mookie Betts walked in the next at-bat to load the bases. Then Freeman lined a single to right to score a run and bring the stadium back to life.

As quickly as the rally began, however, it came to a quick conclusion, when Will Smith grounded out to first to continue his September-long slump and inch the Dodgers a little closer to the regular season’s finish line.

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