ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 16 games, Max Muncy and Miguel Vargas homered, and the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers beat the MLB-best Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 on Saturday.
Freeman finished 2 for 3 with two walks and is hitting .444 (28 for 63) with 18 RBIs during his streak.
Mookie Betts had an RBI single and Freeman followed with a run-scoring double off Colin Poche (3-1) as Los Angeles took a 5-4 lead in the seventh inning. Vargas added a solo shot in the eighth.
Harold Ramírez hit the Rays' major league-leading 100th homer, but Tampa Bay dropped to 25-6 at home.
Los Angeles has 84 home runs, which is second in the National League.
Neither starting pitcher, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw nor Tampa Bay right-hander Tyler Glasnow, made it past the fifth inning.
Yency Almonte (3-0) worked a perfect sixth. Caleb Ferguson gave up Wander Franco's RBI single before getting his second save.
Ferguson entered with one out in the ninth and allowed Taylor Walls' double. After striking out Jose Siri and walking Yandy Díaz, the left-hander permitted Franco's single to center field before getting a game-ending grounder from Ramírez.
Glasnow went 4 1/3 innings in his season debut after being sidelined by a strained left oblique. He allowed three runs and five hits while striking out eight in an 83-pitch outing. The 6-foot-8 righty was limited to 39 games from 2019-22 due to injuries.
Kershaw went on the bereavement list Monday following the death of his mother. He was activated Friday and gave up four runs on six hits over five innings.
Kershaw beat Glasnow twice in the 2020 World Series as the Dodgers defeated Tampa Bay in six games. The lefty had also won his two prior regular-season starts against the Rays, posting a 1.88 ERA.
Manuel Margot had a two-run single in the fourth, and Ramírez put the Rays ahead 4-3 with his two-run homer to right.
Muncy, hitless in his previous 10 at-bats, connected on his 16th homer leading off the second. He hit an RBI double in the fourth and scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.
To make room for Glasnow on the roster, RHP Cooper Criswell was optioned to Triple-A Durham one day after getting his first big league win.
Dodgers LHP Julio Urías (left hamstring) had his scheduled Saturday bullpen session pushed back to Tuesday after experiencing some soreness throwing Friday.
Rays LHP Josh Fleming (1-0) will start or follow an opener against Dodgers rookie RHP Gavin Stone (0-0) in Sunday's game that starts at 11:35 a.m. EDT, which is 8:35 a.m. Los Angeles time.
“I was thinking about sleeping here. I've never stayed in the stadium,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts joked.