The Dodgers got their road trip off to a great start, thanks to their second 12-inning win in their last four games. Matt Treanor hit a pinch hit two-run single in the 12th inning, highlighting a five-run inning and an 8-3 win over the Mets to complete their sweep at Citi Field.
The Dodgers are a perfect 7-0 in games in the eastern time zone this season.
The 12th inning outburst ran the Dodgers' extra-inning record to 5-2 this season, and it made a winner out of Josh Wall in his major league debut. Wall pitched a scoreless 11th inning, becoming the first Dodger to get a win in relief in his first major league game since Tim Belcher on September 6, 1987.
Even with a shortened bullpen, the Dodgers used six relievers on Sunday, and even used starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw as a pinch hitter, to lay down a sacrifice bunt. The Mets used five relievers, and all 13 position players. The Dodgers also used all 13 position players. In all, 40 players appeared in the game.
The Dodgers nearly won the game in regulation. Javy Guerra entered the game with a one-run lead in the ninth inning for his first save opportunity since May 6, but he allowed two hits and a run. The tying run scored on a soft ground ball to first baseman James Loney, who had no play at the plate and got the out at first base on a close call.
The Mets were in great position to score the winning run off Guerra in the 10th inning with runners on first and second base with nobody out. Guerra fielded a ball by Mike Nickeas and went to third base for one out and the Dodgers appeared to get the second out but Mark Ellis was ruled to have come off first base by umpire Mike DiMuro. Guerra did get the elusive double play though as the next batter, Ruben Tejada, grounded into a 4-6-3 twin killing, prompting this snarky tweet from the Dodgers:
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning, when Rivera crushed a pitch from Jon Niese into the left field seats for a 2-0 lead. The blast gave the Dodgers a home run in four straight games and was their 14th home run in 17 games in July, more than doubling their June performance of six home runs in 28 games.
The good news for Nathan Eovaldi, aside from the two runs of support which must have seemed like an outburst to him, was that he matched his career high with seven strikeouts, matching his total for his previous four starts combined. But those strikeouts helped contribute to a high pitch count for Eovaldi, who was pulled with one out in the fifth inning after throwing 96 pitches.
Reliever Scott Elbert came in with runners on first and third base, but retired left-handers Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy to end the inning and keep the score at 2-1.
The only run Eovaldi allowed came in the fourth inning when the Mets strung together three hits, but then man who scored - Daniel Murphy - reached base on a fly ball down the right field line that appeared to be foul but was called fair for a double.
Mark Ellis singled off David Wright to open the sixth, then Ellis advanced to second base on a fly ball to center field by Matt Kemp that just kept carrying. Andre Ethier followed with a single to left field and Ellis easily beat the poor throw home from Jordany Valdespin, normally a middle infielder, for a 3-1 lead.
Against a lineup stacked with lefties, Elbert remained in to pitch the sixth inning. He retired four of the first five batters he faced - all lefties - but was removed after walking the pitcher Niese, also a left-handed batter.
Shawn Tolleson entered with two runners on and two outs, but got out of the sixth inning with a fly out to left field. Tolleson appeared to pitch a perfect seventh inning as well, but his third strike to Ike Davis was ruled to be a foul tip despite replays showing otherwise. Davis, given new life, hit the next pitch to right field for a two-out double, then scored on a bloop single by Murphy.
The Dodgers rallied in the eighth inning looking for some insurance runs as Mark Ellis and Kemp opened the inning with singles, but they were left stranded to keep the Dodgers' lead at 3-2. For Kemp, the single gave him four consecutive game with two hits.
With a shortened bullpen, Jamey Wright was asked to protect a one-run lead in the eighth inning, which he did. Wright gave up a one-out single to Josh Thole, but induced a ground ball double play to second by pinch hitter Justin Turner to end the threat.
Chad Billingsley will return from the disabled list on Monday to start the opener of a four-game series in St. Louis. The Cardinals will counter with former UC Riverside Highlander Joe Kelly, making his eighth big league start.
Home Runs: Juan Rivera (5)
WP - Josh Wall (1-0): 1 IP, 1 hit
LP - Ramon Ramirez (2-2): 1 2/3 IP, 5 hits, 5 runs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout