By Ken Gurnick and Troy Provost-Heron
MLB.com |@kengurnick |
NEW YORK -- After the bullpen let a Clayton Kershaw victory get away, Adrian Gonzalez's two-run single with one out in the ninth propelled the Dodgers to a 4-2 win over the Mets on Sunday night in the rubber match of their eventful three-game series at Citi Field.
"We played another complete game," said manager Dave Roberts, whose club has won six of seven. "This is a very tough place to play; the crowd is energized. But we came right back in the ninth to win it."
Kershaw struck out 10 without a walk in 7 2/3 innings while receiving a no-decision. He was charged with two runs on four hits and was leading when Adam Liberatore relieved and allowed a tying RBI triple to Curtis Granderson in the eighth. But the Dodgers loaded the bases against Mets closer Jeurys Familia in the ninth and Gonzalez singled to center, scoring Kiké Hernandez and Corey Seager. Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 15th save.
"I was honestly trying to get hit by a pitch, because it's been so hard for me to get a hit lately," said Hernandez, who was in a 3-for-50 tailspin. "I've been a really bad hitter the past month. At the end of the day, it's still May. It felt better to score. I felt like I did something to help the team win. It's been a really long time since I did something to help my team win."
The Mets scored in the sixth inning on Asdrubal Cabrera's two-out home run on a 1-2 curveball, which survived a crew chief review for possible fan interference. Kevin Plawecki singled off Kershaw leading off the eighth. Two outs later, Roberts replaced Kershaw with Liberatore to face Granderson, who tripled home Plawecki to tie the game.
"Plawecki started off the inning by getting on base, which was big for us, especially against Kershaw," Granderson said. "I was just trying to put the ball in play and luckily it ended up being just far enough so that Puig couldn't catch it."
Not surprisingly, Mets nemesis Chase Utley drew first blood off Bartolo Colon. The Dodgers turned his one-out single in the third inning into a run after a single by Seager sent Utley to third, and he scored on a fielder's-choice grounder by Justin Turner. Two-out singles in the fifth inning by Seager, Turner and Gonzalez added a second run.
Gonzalez had three RBIs and was 8-for-13 in the series. By blowing the save, Liberatore was credited with the win.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Pitchers batting: Kershaw nearly became the latest Dodgers pitcher injured while batting in the fifth inning. As he grounded out, the bat broke and the barrel struck him on the right side of the neck. He never left the home-plate area while being put out, but was uninjured and continued.
"It just scared me," Kershaw said. "I've never really done that before, it was just shocking. I wanted to make sure I didn't have any stab wounds. It just stunned me."
More late-game magic: Two days after hitting a walk-off home run to give the Mets the opening game of the series, Granderson spoiled Kershaw's terrific outing by taking an 85-mph slider from Liberatore and hitting it just out of the reach of Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig. It was Granderson's first game-tying RBI of the season.
Missed chance: Scoring chances don't come all that often when Kershaw is on the mound, but the Mets had a prime one when Granderson led of the first inning with a double and was moved to third on a groundout. But Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker both struck out to strand Granderson.
Winning rally: Hernandez got it started with a single off Familia leading off the ninth and Gonzalez completed it with a two-run single. But Roberts pointed out key walks by Seager and Turner that loaded the bases and preceded Gonzalez's hit.
"When two to one is a pretty good strikeout-to-walk ratio and now you're looking at 20 to one? That's something you don't imagine." -- Roberts, on Kershaw's strikeout-to-walk ratio
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Kershaw has 105 strikeouts and five walks, the fewest walks for a pitcher when reaching 100 strikeouts in the modern era. Cliff Lee had seven walks when he reached 100 strikeouts in 2010, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Dodgers plated their first run of the game on a fielder's choice by Turner, but the Mets questioned whether Seager violated the slide interference rule at second base as Walker tried to turn a double play that would have ended the inning. The call on the field, however, stood.
"As I told [crew chief] Tom Hallion, it's a tough deal," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "… I know that they are saying that you have to use a little more common sense on whether it was really a double play or if he really interfered, but to me, the letter of the law says you can't do this and you can't do that, and two of three things you can't do, he did."
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Hallion called for a crew chief review of Cabrera's home run for potential fan interference, but the homer stood.
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers: After getting three extra days of rest because of a sore triceps, Alex Wood gets the start against the Cubs on Monday at 2:05 p.m. PT, coming off a 13-strikeout no-decision against San Diego. Wood said he hurt his throwing arm swinging and missing at a pitch two starts back.
Mets: The month of May has left Matt Harvey (3-7, 6.08 ERA) searching for answers. In five starts this month, the right-hander has gone 1-4 with a 7.56 ERA, leading to him throwing simulated games instead of bullpen sessions in between starts. He'll try to rebound Monday at 1:10 p.m. ET against the White Sox, a team he threw a one-hit shutout against back on May 7, 2013.