After a stretch of 34 games in 34 days the Los Angeles Dodgers had Thursday off, giving them an opportunity to recharge their batteries before beginning a 10-game homestand Friday that carries them into the All-Star break. First up on the docket was the New York Mets, who arrived fresh off being swept by the Chicago Cubs in a three-game series.
Curtis Granderson opened the game by swinging at Clayton Kershaw’s first offering for strike one. Granderson then drew a walk four pitches later and moved to second base on a Juan Lagares slow tapper to the mound. John Mayberry Jr. worked a two-out walk before Kershaw ended the inning on a Lucas Duda strikeout.
Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard struck out Joc Pederson and Howie Kendrick swinging, then got Justin Turner to ground out, keeping the game scoreless through the first frame. Ruben Tejada reached on a broken-bat flare single to left field with two out in the second inning. Syndergaard was unable to help himself as he worked a full count only to go down swinging.
Adrian Gonzalez led off the bottom of the inning with a solo shot to straightaway center that gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. The next two batters were retired before Syndergaard handed out a free pass to put Yasmani Grandal on base. Jimmy Rollins then struck out to end the inning.
For the first time in the game Kershaw set the Mets down in order for a scoreless third inning. After Syndergaard did the same to the Dodgers, the Mets broke through on the scoreboard. Mayberry Jr. led off the fourth with a double down the third base line. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Wilmer Flores chopper that got through a drawn-in infield to tie the game.
Tejada’s base hit put two on with two outs, including one runner in scoring position. Kershaw kept the game tied by striking out Syndergaard for a second time.
CONTINUE READING: Kershaw And Syndergaard Go Toe-To-Toe, Mets Catch Break In 9th
Turner hit a leadoff double in the bottom of the fourth inning, then was moved to third base on a Gonzalez groundout to the right side of the infield. With the Mets playing their infield on the grass, Duda made a diving stop on a ball hit to his right and beat Puig to the bag for the second out. Turner was stranded when Andre Ethier quickly flied out to left.
Kendrick made a nice backhanded stop and throw on a chopper hit up the middle for the second out in the fifth inning. Turner then flashed a little leather by snagging a sinking line drive to help Kershaw set the Mets down in order. Grandal drove one to the warning track in left field that was nothing more than a loud out in an otherwise quiet bottom of the fifth for the Dodgers.
Kershaw struck out the first two batters faced in the sixth before allowing a base hit to Flores. Kevin Plawecki suffered the same fate as two of his teammates as Kershaw struck out the side. Kendrick reach with one out in the bottom of the sixth on a Syndergaard error.
Kendrick stole second base during an at-bat Turner fouled off multiple pitches to stay alive. Turner wound up drawing a walk, though both he and Kendrick were stranded by Gonzalez and Puig. After the Dodgers inability to take the lead, Kershaw needed just seven pitches to get through seventh inning.
Hansel Robles took over for the Mets in the bottom of the seventh and promptly gave up a leadoff single to Ethier. The Dodgers squandered the opportunity to break the 1-1 tie as the next three batters were retired, including Alex Guerrero who pinch-hit for Kerhaw and fouled out to end the inning.
Pedro Baez entered in the eighth and retired the side in order. The final out came on a Mayberry Jr. slicing fly ball that Puig caught on the run in right-center field after calling off Pederson. Robles caught Pederson looking on called strike three for the first out in the bottom of the eighth. The Mets reliever then put away Kendrick and Turner, sending the game to the ninth tied at 1-1.
Duda hit a bloop double off Kenley Jansen that bounced just fair down the left field line to leadoff the ninth inning. Jansen ran into more trouble as Flores’ broken-bat soft liner skipped off the closer’s glove, leaving runners on the corners with no outs.
Plawecki lifted a sacrifice-fly to deep center, scoring Duda to give the Mets a 2-1 lead, and allowing Flores to take second base. Jeurys Familia closed the game out to hand the Dodgers a loss in their first game back from a long road trip.