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AP photo by David Zalubowski / The Los Angeles Dodgers' Freddie Freeman heads to first base after getting hit in the back by a pitch from Colorado Rockies starter Kyle Freeland in the third inning of Friday's season opener for both teams in Denver.

DENVER — Freddie Freeman's debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers included reaching base three times, scoring a run and providing a comforting shoulder.

The Colorado Rockies' José Iglesias was emotional standing at first base after an early RBI single. When Freeman asked what was wrong, Iglesias said he'd just recently lost his father.

The Dodgers' new first baseman offered words of encouragement.

"It was a beautiful moment," Iglesias said after the Dodgers beat the Rockies 5-3 Friday in the season opener for both teams. "Beyond baseball, we're human beings. That was very nice of Freddie."

Freeman's mother Rosemary died of skin cancer when he was 10.

"He's like, 'I know what you're going through,'" recounted Iglesias, whose father was from Cuba. "It was very emotional for me."

Freeman, 32, started his Dodgers tenure with a solid day and a win. The 2020 National League MVP signed a six-year, $162 million deal with Los Angeles after leading the Atlanta Braves — the only professional team he had ever played for — to the World Series championship last season.

"It's just a new uniform. Same game. But I'm excited to get going and get this next chapter of my career going," Freeman said before the game.

Second in the lineup, he struck out in his first at-bat, was hit by a pitch in the third inning, walked and scored in the Dodgers' five-run fourth, lined a sharp single in the sixth and took a called third strike in the eighth.

"Freddie, it's not going to show up in the scorecard, but going first to third in a situation where there was a wild pitch and scores an insurance run, those are things where it's a little microcosm of what we can do," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

Colorado's big offseason acquisition, Kris Bryant, had a double and a walk but struck out against Craig Kimbrel with a runner on to end the game. Bryant agreed to a seven-year, $182 million to be a big bat in the top of the order.

The Dodgers' Walker Buehler pretty much picked up right where he left off in 2021, getting the win after allowing two runs and four hits in five innings while striking out five batters. The All-Star right-hander is coming off a 16-4 season in which he finished fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting.

Kimbrel, who was traded to the Dodgers from the Chicago White Sox on April 1, allowed an RBI double to Charlie Blackmon before striking out Bryant on a knuckle-curveball to earn the save.

"Just frozen," Bryant explained.

Gavin Lux had a two-run single in the pivotal fourth — all with two outs — that turned a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 lead.

That was plenty for Buehler, who ended his day by striking out C.J. Cron on a cutter with two runners on in the fifth.

"To get off to a good start for our team is the biggest thing," Buehler said. "I was fortunate that we put up that inning there to put me in a spot to get a win."

Denver native Kyle Freeland started out strong before things went sideways in the fourth as he started a season opener for the second time in his MLB career. The lefty allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings and took the loss.

Colorado jumped out to a lead in the second courtesy of contributions from two of their newest players. Randal Grichuk had an RBI grounder and Iglesias hit a run-scoring single.

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