The Los Angeles Dodgers drubbed the New York Mets 9-4 Tuesday night at Citi Field, the Mets fifth loss in six games. Dodgers veteran Josh Beckett picked up the win to improve his record to 2-1 on the season, while Mets rookie Rafael Montero dropped to 0-2. Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was the star of the game, going 3-4, including a double and a two run home run. It was one minute shy of the Mets franchise record for a nine-inning game, thanks to the six ineffective pitchers the Mets used. Before the game the Mets announced that starting centerfielder Juan Lagares would not be available, as he was in the Dominican Republic because of a death in his family.
The Dodgers went scoreless in the top of the first, and the Mets were retired in order in the bottom of the inning. Dodgers centerfielder Matt Kemp flied out to left leading off the top of the second. Left fielder Carl Crawford followed with a walk. When third baseman Juan Uribe struck out swinging, Crawford stole second base and advanced to third on an errant throw from Mets catcher Juan Centeno. Dodgers catcher AJ Ellis then walked and pitcher Josh Beckett hit a soft liner just out of the reach of Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy and into right field for a base hit. Ellis moved over to third and Crawford scored to give the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead. Second baseman Dee Gordon followed with a walk to load the bases for the Cuban phenom right fielder Yasiel Puig, who struck out swinging to retire the side.
In the bottom of the second Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson sliced a ball down the right field line. The ball hit off the chalk for a fair ball and Granderson was safe at second with a double. Centerfielder Chris Young then flied out to center, but Granderson advanced to third on the play. First baseman Lucas Duda then hit a weak ground ball back to Josh Beckett who threw to first for the second out. Shortstop Wilmer Flores followed with a slow roller to Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez grabbed the ball, jumped and threw the ball to first. Flores barely beat the throw and Granderson scored to tie the game 1-1. Juan Centeno then grounded back to the pitcher to end the inning.
After Hanley Ramirez grounded out to the shortstop Flores to start the top of the third, Adrian Gonzalez crushed a pitch that short-hopped the centerfield wall for a double. Matt Kemp then blooped a single to left and Gonzalez moved over to third, putting runners at the corners with just one out. But both runners were left stranded when Carl Crawford struck out swinging, and Juan Uribe lined out to right retiring the side. The Mets failed to score in the bottom of the third, and both teams went 1-2-3 in the fourth inning.
Yasiel Puig started the top of the fifth with a walk. Ramirez popped out to short, but Gonzalez demolished a pitch into the bullpen in right center for a home run, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. Matt Kemp then lined a ball into center, just out of the reach of Chris Young for a double. Crawford then singled up the middle to bring in Kemp extending Los Angeles lead to 4-1. That would be the end for Rafael Montero and in came Jeurys Familia.
Crawford immediately stole second and advanced on a wild pitch by Familia. Uribe singled to center, scoring Kemp making it 5-1 Dodgers. A.J. Ellis then grounded into a double play to retire the side. Montero finished the night with 4 1/3 innings pitched, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits, walking 4 and striking out 4.
In the bottom of the fifth, lead off Wilmer Flores struck out swinging. Juan Centeno then singled to left. Infielder Eric Campbell pinch-hit for Familia and singled to right. Left fielder Eric Young Jr. followed with a single to right to load the bases. But the Mets failed to bring any of the runners home. Second baseman Daniel Murphy struck out swinging and third baseman David Wright weakly grounded to second to end the inning.
Carlos Torres relieved Jeurys Familia in the top of the sixth. After getting Josh Beckett to strike out looking and Dee Gordon to strike out swinging, Yasiel Puig doubled to deep right. Puig was then driven in on a single to right by Hanley Ramirez widening Los Angeles lead to 6-1. Adrian Gonzalez followed with a single to right, but was forced out at second on a fielder’s choice by Matt Kemp.
Leading off the bottom of the sixth, Curtis Granderson crushed a ball off the Shea Bridge in right center for a solo home run, cutting the Dodgers lead to 6-2. Chris Young followed with a double to center, and Lucas Duda lined a shot into the seats in right slicing the lead to 6-4 Los Angeles. Wilmer Flores then walked, and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly pulled Josh Beckett for lefty reliever J.P. Howell while Andre Eithier entered as defensive replacement in centerfield.
Juan Centeno struck out swinging for the first out. Infielder Ruben Tejada then pinch-hit for Carlos Torres and Tejada struck out swinging. Eric Young Jr. then popped out to second for the final out of the inning. The Dodgers went in order in the top of the seventh.
Daniel Murphy led off the bottom of the seventh with a strikeout looking, David Wright singled to right. Granderson followed with his own single to right. Young reliever Chris Withrow replaced Howell, and Withrow plunked Chris Young with a pitch to load the bases. Duda then skied a pop-up to second. Wilmer Flores followed with a groundball to shortstop and Young was forced out at second to end the inning.
After pitching the top of the seventh Daisuke Matsuzaka stayed on to pitch the eighth. Dice-K got the first two outs quickly thanks to an Andre Eithier fly out to center and a failed bunt attempt by Dee Gordon. Matsuzaka then hit Yasiel Puig with a pitch and walked Hanley Ramirez.
Lefty specialist Scott Rice entered to try to put out the fire for the Mets. Both runners moved into scoring position thanks to wild pitch by Rice. Adrian Gonzalez then walked and Rice was pulled for Jose Valverde.
There were many defensive changes as well when Valverde entered. Bobby Abreu came in to the game playing right field while Curtis Granderson moved over to center and Chris Young shifted over to left. Eric Young Jr. switched to second base and Daniel Murphy took over at first. Outfielder Scott Van Skyle pinch-hit for Howell and flied out to left to retire the side. The Mets failed to score in the bottom of the eighth.
Valverde stayed to pitch the top of the ninth for New York. Carl Crawford started with a single to right and Juan Uribe doubled to left, putting runners in scoring position with nobody out. Former Met, infielder Justin Turner was called to run for Uribe. After AJ Ellis struck out swinging, lefty reliever Josh Edgin replaced Valverde.
Ethier beat out an infield single to first and Crawford scored to make it 7-4 Dodgers. Dee Gordon blooped a single to left scoring Turner to lengthen Los Angeles’ lead to 8-4. Puig then singled up the middle to score Ethier from second extending the lead, 9-4 Dodgers. During the play Gordon was thrown out trying to advance to third for the second out. Hanley Ramirez then grounded to short and Puig was forced out at second to retire the side. The Mets went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.
Both teams return to action tomorrow night when young Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom makes his second major league start against Hyun-jin Ryu for the Dodgers.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU