The Mets scored all five of their runs with two outs, and Jon Niese pitched a gem of a game en route to the team’s fourth straight victory, despite Jose Reyes sitting out his fourth straight game.
Jon Niese allowed three Dodger runs on five hits over seven solid innings. He also struck out six hitters, five of them on his trademark curveball. Niese was very efficient with his 97-pitch effort as 71 of them were strikes. He turned it over to the bullpen for the eighth and ninth innings, in which the solid combination of Bobby Parnell and Francisco Rodriguez allowed no runs on one hit with three strikeouts.
With the game scoreless in the top of the fourth, Lucas Duda ripped a two-out double just beyond the reach of James Loney at first base that scored Carlos Beltran from second, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead.
Then in the top of the sixth, Beltran used his base-running wisdom to push the Met lead to 2-1. He led off the inning with his National League leading 26th double of the season. He then tagged up from second on Daniel Murphy’s fly ball to left field. Beltran baited Eugenio Velez to throw to the infield, and when the left fielder’s throw sailed high, Beltran slid safely at third.
After Jason Bay grounded out to second with the Dodger infield playing halfway to prevent a run, Beltran scored on a wild pitch with two outs during Lucas Duda’s at-bat.
But the Mets were not finished in the sixth as Duda and Josh Thole got on base with back-to-back, two-out singles. Then Reyes’ replacement at shortstop, Ruben Tejada, split the right-center field gap with a two-run double, pushing the score to 4-1. That was all the offense the Mets would need as the Dodgers could only answer with two runs in the bottom half of that inning.
Justin Turner added insurance in the ninth, making the score 5-3, when his two-out RBI single scored pinch hitter Willie Harris, who doubled earlier in the inning.
With their 5-3 victory, the Mets have taken the first three games of this four game set at Los Angeles, and improve to three games over .500 for the first time this season. They also pick up a game on the Phillies in the NL East and now trail by 9.5 games.
- With Justin Turner’s first inning single, he reached base safely in 28 straight games, a new Mets rookie record.
- According to a Wall Street Journal report, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he was “surprised” at how Francisco Rodriguez is being used. The closer has a $17.5 million contract option for next season that kicks in once he finishes 55 games. Through 88 games, Rodriguez has finished 33 contests.
- According to an ESPN New York report, Reyes has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. He will miss the all-star game and the series against the Phillies right after the all-star break. Taking his spot on the roster is Nick Evans.