Dodgers 7 10 2
Mets 6 10 0
WP- Harang (7-5)
LP- Santana (6-7)
S- Jansen (17)
HR- Kemp (14), Cruz (1), Valdespin (6)
The Dodgers were involved in yet another one-run game, but they hung on this time to win game one of their three-game series versus the New York Mets. It was also their 50th victory of 2012. This was a great way to start the 10-game road trip. Johan Santana struggled early on, and he only lasted 3 innings after allowing 6 runs. Since hit no-hitter, Santana hasn’t been sharp at all. Matt Kemp homered in the first inning (a monstrous blast), and later on Luis Cruz hit his first career homerun off Santana. Jerry Hairston Jr. did commit another two errors at third base, and the Dodgers continue to battle the black hole that is third. Maybe they shouldn’t have demoted Elian Herrera back down to AAA? Aaron Harang only allowed 4 hits, but one of those was a two-run pinch-hit homerun to Valdespin. Although it wasn’t his best outing, Harang still picked up his seventh win of the season. The bullpen was a bit shaky as Lindblom and Tolleson both had troublesome innings, but Belisario and Jansen continue to dominate. Ronald Belisario has pitched extraordinarily well this season, and I have really enjoyed watching his comeback season. Here’s how the rainy yet fun game went.
The Dodgers go to work in the first inning against Johan Santana as Bobby Abreu legs out an infield single to the hole at short. Mark Ellis lines out to center for the first out. Matt Kemp comes up and blasts his 14th homerun of the year into the center field stands of Citi Field! The two-run homerun gives The Bison homeruns in consecutive at-bats (Kemp’s last at bat was the 12th inning walk-off blast on Wednesday) as the Dodgers take a 2-0 lead. Andre Ethier follows up with a stand-up double to left. That is Dre’s first career hit off Johan Santana. Juan Rivera pops out. Jerry Hairston Jr. knocks a single to center field which allows Ethier to score the third Dodger run of the inning. That was also JHair’s first hit off Santana in his career. Luis Cruz grounds out, but not before Santana makes 25 pitches and the Dodgers notch a 3 on the board.
Aaron Harang takes the mound in the home half of the first. Ruben Tejada reaches on a Hairston fielding error as the high chopping grounder eats up the third baseman. Daniel Murphy doubles over the head of Bobby Abreu with nobody out. Tejada brings in a run for the Mets on a deep fly ball by David Wright. An unruly fan poured beer on Abreu’s head as he was catching the ball at the warning track. Classy New York, classy. Ike Davis hits another sacrifice fly ball which allows Murphy to score, 3-2. Lucas Duda pops out to end the inning.
In the second, Abreu draws a two-out walk, and he lands at third on a single by Mark Ellis. Santana walks Kemp to load the bases up. Ethier walks on four pitches, and Abreu walks home with the Dodgers’ fourth run. Rivera grounds into a force to end the inning, but Santana has already made 52 pitches through two innings.
Aaron Harang sends down the Mets 1-2-3 in the third inning.
Hairston singles to lead-off the third. The ball bounces off Tejada’s glove, and then his throw to Santana at first gets away. Luis Cruz then bombs his first career homerun, a two-run shot to left field! The Dodgers are now up 6-2.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis strikes out in the bottom of the third pinch-hitting for Santana. Murphy singles with two-outs, but Harang strikes out Wright swinging to end the inning.
Johan Santana only lasted 3 innings, allowing 7 hits, 6 runs, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts on 72 pitches.
Pedro Beato, right-hander, comes out of the Mets bullpen to relieve Santana. He sends the Dodgers down in order in the fourth and strikes out Kemp in the process.
Harang walks both Duda and Bay consecutively with one out in the bottom of the fourth. Matt Kemp makes a nice play on a line drive by Torres. Thole grounds out, and Harang works his way out of the jam.
Beato retires the Dodgers in order again in the fifth.
Pinch-hitter Ronny Cedeno whiffs to start the bottom of the fifth. Tejada flares a single to left. Murphy doubles to left, and Tejada scores. 6-3 Dodgers. Harang walks Wright on four pitches. Davis flies out. Lucas Duda can’t hold up on a very low fastball after a 9-pitch at bat, and Harang escapes another sketchy inning.
Aaron Harang pitched 5 innings, allowing 4 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, and 5 strikeouts on 108 pitches.
Ramon Ramirez will pitch the sixth inning for the Mets. Tony Gwynn Jr. gets a ground-rule double with one out as the ball bounces over the right field fence. Abreu strikes out. While Ellis is batting, Gwynn steals third. Ellis grounds out and strands Gwynn.
Josh Lindblom comes in for the bottom of the sixth in relief of Harang. He strikes out Jason Bay with four pitches. Lindblom gives up back-to-back walks to Torres and Thole. Scott Hairston singles in Torres, and the Dodgers lead is down to two. Mattingly has to go to the pen, and he brings in Shawn Tolleson. Tejada flies out. Daniel Murphy strikes out, and the damage is contained to one run.
Matt Kemp strikes out for the second time to lead-off the seventh. Dre draws a walk and steals second. Rivera singles up the middle, and Ethier is able to come back and touch home for the seventh Dodger run.
In the bottom of the seventh, Tolleson is in for a second inning for some reason. Davis singles, and then pinch-hitter Jordany Valdespin hits a two-run homerun. The Dodger lead shrinks to just one run, 7-6. They have to bring in Javy Guerra who promptly serves up a single to Jason Bay. Andres Torres strikes out, and Thole flies out.
Ronald Belisario is the fifth Dodger pitcher of the night, and he comes in for the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Murphy gets his fourth base hit of the night,
and the Mets have the tying run on first with two out. Beli strikes out Wright looking to end the inning!
Jon Rauch, the tallest player in the Majors at 6’11″, comes into pitch in the ninth. Ellis strikes out, but Matt Kemp singles. Ethier strikes out swinging. Rivera pops out in foul territory.
Kenley Jansen gets the ball for the bottom of the ninth in a save opportunity. Jansen whiffs Davis for the first out. Valdespin singles to third base, but Hairston throws wide and draws an error allowing him to advance to second. Jansen strikes out Justin Turner with high heat. Andres Torres flies out to end the game!
The Dodgers improve to 50-44, and since the Giants won they remain 2 1/2 games back in second place.