NEW YORK -- Reigning National League MVP Clayton Kershaw fired a three-hit shutout Thursday night, striking out 11 Mets without a walk in a 3-0 Dodgers win at Citi Field.
Curtis Granderson broke up the perfect game leading off the bottom of the seventh inning with a line single to right field on an 0-2 slider. One out later, Wilmer Flores blooped a single to right field, but Kershaw pitched out of the jam. The only perfect game thrown by a Dodger remains Sandy Koufax with a 1-0 win over the Cubs on Sept. 9, 1965.
"I definitely thought we'd see a perfect game tonight, the way he was throwing and the way they were swinging," said Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal.
Kershaw ran his scoreless-innings streak to 29, raised his record to 8-6 and lowered his ERA to 2.51. It was his second shutout and complete game of the season and raised his career record against the Mets to 6-0. In Kershaw's last five starts over 40 innings, he has allowed two earned runs with 54 strikeouts and two walks.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Mets killer:Jimmy Rollins homered off tough-luck loser Bartolo Colon in the third inning for the first Dodgers run, and that held until the ninth, when they scored two insurance runs. Rollins' homer, estimated to have traveled 418.9 feet by Statcast™, was his ninth of the season and 31st of his career against the Mets. The only active players with more are Rollins' former Phillies teammates, Ryan Howard (42) and Chase Utley (35).
"The way we're swinging the bats, we were overmatched," said Mets manager Terry Collins, whose team ranks last in the Majors in hitting.
Curtis can: Granderson's liner to right might have garnered bigger applause than any leadoff single of his career, and at least temporarily removed a Citi-sized monkey off the Mets' back. Combine Granderson's .121 average against left-handed pitching and the ease with which Kershaw carved through the Mets' lineup, any salvation felt doubtful. New York managed just two singles the rest of the way.
"It was a relief to get one on the board and break up the perfect game," third baseman Eric Campbell said.
Colon cruises: Almost lost amid Kershaw's run at history were Colon's eight innings of one-run baseball. The veteran righty allowed just five hits while striking out four without a walk. He retired the first seven batters before Rollins' homer and faced the minimum over the next three innings thanks to three double plays. The righty remains winless in his last six starts.
"Tonight, you saw Bart came back on regular rest and was much sharper than he has been. I think that will continue," Collins said.
Duda's misstep:Lucas Duda usually hears "Luuu" not "boo" at Citi Field. But the first baseman was greeted with the worse of the two in the eighth, when he was picked off by Kershaw after leading off the inning with a single. The Mets produced just three baserunners all night, making each one vitally important. Duda's baserunning blunder turned a promising late inning into a quick one for Kershaw.
"He has kind of a lean before he goes to the plate," Duda said. "The bunt was on, so I tried to get a little more with my shuffle. I guessed wrong. Big mistake on my part. "
"He'd have been pretty ticked off." -- Grandal, of Kershaw's favorite catcher A.J. Ellis, if Grandal had caught a Kershaw perfecto while Ellis was on the disabled list
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Dodgers pitching staff has 15 shutouts, which leads the Major Leagues.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly challenged a call on the field in the sixth inning when home-plate umpire Ben May ruled that Joc Pederson was not hit by a Colon pitch. A replay official ruled that Pederson was hit by the pitch and Pederson was awarded first base.
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers: With Zack Greinkeleaving the club to be with his expectant wife in Los Angeles, the Dodgers will go with left-hander Ian Thomas as the starting pitcher for Friday night's game at 7:10 ET (4:10 PT). It will be Thomas' first Major League start.
Mets:Jon Niese takes the hill looking for his third win in four stars. The lefty has excelled lately as a subject of trade rumors, posting a 2.00 ERA in his last seven outings. Niese could be pitching with an outfield including hyped prospect Michael Conforto in it. Conforto is a candidate to be promoted if the Mets decide to put Michael Cuddyer on the disabled list.