Wednesday, May 21, 2014
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Dodgers Snap Skid With Win Over Mets

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[May 21, 2014]  NEW YORK -- The Los Angeles Dodgers are no strangers to slow starts. Perhaps their outburst Tuesday night was evidence they won't need as long to get going this year as they did a year ago.

First baseman Adrian Gonzalez finished a triple shy of the cycle and the Dodgers tied a season high for runs scored in a 9-4 win over the New York Mets at Citi Field.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Dodgers (24-22), who began the night five games behind first-place San Francisco in the NL West, and ensured they wouldn't fall to .500 for the first time since Opening Day.

"What we talked about was moving forward -- the season kind of starts today," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Put everything that happened up to now (behind). We know that a game over .500 is not going to get us anywhere."

The Dodgers were in a far bigger hole last season, when they were 30-42 and in last place in the NL West -- nine games behind first-place Arizona -- on June 21. Los Angeles went 62-28 the rest of the way and ended up winning the division by 11 games before falling to St. Louis in the NL Championship Series.

Still, Gonzalez said the Dodgers take no solace in having a summertime surge already under their belts.

"We don't worry about last year," Gonzalez said. "We worry about this year. We worry about playing good games. We know that if we play good baseball, we're going to win."

The Dodgers got more than enough offense on Tuesday, when five players had at least two hits in a 15-hit outburst -- one shy of the Dodgers' season high. Every Dodgers starter reached base via a hit or walk.

Gonzalez (3-for-4 with a walk) laced a two-run homer, his 11th of the season, in a four-run fifth to give Los Angeles the lead for good. Yasiel Puig, the reigning co-NL Player of the Week, also had three hits while left fielder Carl Crawford had two hits, three runs scored and two stolen bases.

"We took walks, put pressure on them almost every inning, worked the count well," Gonzalez said.

Center fielder Matt Kemp and third baseman Juan Uribe also had two hits apiece for the Dodgers, who added three insurance runs in the ninth inning.

"Today's a good start," Mattingly said. "We were able to put some runs on the board, (the Mets) get back in the game, we hang on (and) put a few more tack-on runs to make it easier on ourselves."

Right-hander Josh Beckett rode the offensive outburst -- as well as some timely relief pitching -- to his second win in as many starts. It is the first time he has won back-to-back starts since May 15-20, 2012, when he, Gonzalez and Crawford were all still playing for the Boston Red Sox.

Beckett cruised until the sixth, when he threw just 13 pitches and failed to record an out as the Mets scored three runs via a solo homer by right fielder Curtis Granderson and a two-run homer by first baseman Lucas Duda.

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"There were some really good swings that inning," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "It got us right back into the game."

Beckett, who allowed four runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out six, was followed by a quartet of relievers who combined to three-hit the Mets the rest of the way. Right-hander Chris Withrow worked out of a bases-loaded jam to preserve a 6-4 lead in the seventh.

"This was the bullpen's and (lineup's) win," Beckett said. "I know I ended up getting it, but (it's) not one that I look back on and say I really deserved it."

Granderson also finished a triple shy of the cycle for the Mets (20-24), who have lost five of six. The Mets left the bases loaded twice -- including against Beckett in the fifth -- and stranded 10 runners overall.

Right-hander Rafael Montero took the loss after giving up five runs on seven hits and four walks while striking out four over 4 1/3 innings. The Mets ended up using seven pitchers in the first game of a stretch of 20 games in as many days.

"I thought actually if we stayed within a couple of runs we had a fighting chance," Collins said. "That's why I used a lot of pitchers."

NOTES: Dodgers 3B Juan Uribe strained his right hamstring while legging out an RBI double in the ninth and will undergo further tests on Wednesday. ... With CF Juan Lagares in the Dominican Republic after a death in the family, the Mets played with a 24-man roster Tuesday. Lagares is expected back Wednesday. ... Mets C Travis d'Arnaud (concussion) still feels symptoms when working out and won't be activated off the 7-day concussion disabled list when first eligible on Wednesday. ... LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (stiff shoulder) is expected to come off the disabled list Wednesday and start for the Dodgers. He last pitched on April 27. ... Dodgers prospect Alex Guerrero needed plastic surgery Tuesday after he was bitten in the ear by Triple-A Albuquerque teammate Miguel Olivo during a fight in the Albuquerque dugout.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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