Mark Ellis hit the game-tying home run in the fifth inning and hit the tiebreaking three-run home run in the seventh inning, leading the Dodgers to a season-high offensive explosion in a 7-2 win over the Mets on Tuesday night at Citi Field.
It was the third two-homer game for Ellis in his career, and the first since June 17, 2008 against the Diamondbacks, when Ellis played for the Athletics. Brandon Lyon, who got hung with the loss on Tuesday, also gave up the second of Ellis's home runs in that 2008 game.
It was the 13th four-hit game for Ellis, and second as a Dodger. Ellis now has 101 home runs in his career.
The Dodgers needed the offense because Clayton Kershaw had a short and subpar outing, for him.
Kershaw needed 37 pitches to retire the first eight batters of the game. But that final out of the third inning proved elusive, taking two walks, two singles, and 30 more pitches from Kershaw to secure, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead.
The Mets were patient against Kershaw all night, and the unusually wild southpaw threw 111 pitches in walking a season-high four in a season-low five innings. But he allowed just two runs thanks in part to five strikeouts, including catching John Buck looking with a full count slider to end the fifth inning, Kershaw's final pitch of the game.
Ronald Belisario recovered from his recent bout of wildness to retire all three batters he faced in the sixth inning, including two by strikeout, to pick up his first win of the season.
The Dodgers had a patient approach against Mets starter Jon Niese as well, as they drew three walks and forced him to threw 54 pitches in just 2⅓ innings. Niese was forced to leave in the third inning, but not because of fatigue. But rather, one of Ellis's four hits ricocheted off Niese's right leg.
On a day when the Dodgers found out Chad Billingsley, from Defiance, Ohio, will need Tommy John surgery to end his season, the other MLB pitcher from Defiance left early as well. Niese left the game with a contusion on his lower right leg, and x-rays taken during the game were negative. He is listed by the Mets as day-to-day.
The early exit allowed the Dodgers to pounce on the New York bullpen to the tune of six runs and nine hits in 6⅔ innings. The Dodgers saw 138 pitches from five different Mets relief pitchers.
- The Dodgers added a pair of runs in the seventh inning on an RBI double by A.J. Ellis, who is hitting .444 (8-for-18) with eight walks (.615 on-base percentage) during his six-game hitting streak.
- Justin Sellers drove in the Dodgers' first run with a single and had a season-high three hits.
- Matt Kemp had two hits in five at-bats, including an opposite field double off the wall in right center field in the ninth inning. He has raised his batting average from .182 to .247 in four games, during which time he has eight hits in 18 at-bats.
- The Dodgers have won five straight games at Citi Field.
Ted Lilly makes his 2013 debut on the mound for the Dodgers on Wednesday, while Matt Harvey will allow a season high in hits in the second game of the series.
Home runs: Mark Ellis 2 (2)
WP - Ronald Belisario (1-2): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts
LP - Brandon Lyon (1-1): 1 IP, 2 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout