After a superb pitching duel by Clayton Kershaw and Noah Syndergaard, the Mets won the battle of the bullpens, scratching together a run off Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning for a 2-1 victory over the Dodgers on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
Jansen's inning was maddening, starting with a pop fly double just fair down the left field line by Lucas Duda. Then Wilmer Flores hit the softest of liners just off Jansen's glove. Had Jansen caught the ball, he could have easily doubled Duda off second base. Instead, he faced runners at the corners with nobody out, immediately cashed in by another fly ball, this one to center field by catcher Kevin Plawecki for the go-ahead sacrifice fly.
It marks the first time in Jansen's career he has allowed a run in three straight games.
"Tonight was basically a jam shot down the line and a ball off his glove," manager Don Mattingly said. "He has had a little stretch where he's given up runs, but it is what it is. But the bottom line, we'll look at just the pure, how they hit the ball, how he pitched."
Hansel Robles pitched scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth innings, with three strikeouts to earn the win for New York.
Kershaw walked two batters in the first inning for the first time since June 15, 2013 against Pittsburgh. But neither scored, and the left-hander rebounded to pitch seven strong innings, allowing just a run on five hits, with seven strikeouts.
He didn't walk a batter after the first inning.
Kershaw has a 2.41 ERA over his last five starts, with 46 strikeouts and eight walks during that span. But no wins to show for it, including a no-decision on Friday.
The Dodgers got on the board first with a solo shot to center field by Adrian Gonzalez
It was the 14th home run of the season for Gonzalez, his most through 81 team games — the true halfway point of the season — since hitting 16 for Boston in 2011.
The Mets scored in the fourth, with a leadoff double by John Mayberry, a wild pitch, and a seeing-eye ground ball in between a drawn-in right side of Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick to tie the game at 1-1.
Justin Turner hit a leadoff double of his own in the bottom of the fourth inning, but was stranded.
The Dodgers rallied again in the sixth thanks to an error by Syndergaard, allowing Kendrick to reach base. Kendrick then stole second base, the Dodgers' first stolen base since Andre Ethier on June 7. The swipe snapped a 23-game skid without a stolen base, the longest in franchise history, per the Elias Sports Bureau.
In between steals, the Dodgers were caught six times.
Turner followed with a walk to put two runners on, but Gonzalez lined out to center field and Yasiel Puig struck out to end the threat.
That ended the night for Syndergaard, who was very good in his six innings, allowing one run on just two hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
"Kershaw was really good, and their guy was equally as good. It was the first time we've had a chance to see him live," Mattingly said. "He was impressive."
Mets closer Jeurys Familia set down Gonzalez, Puig and Ethier in the ninth for his 22nd save.
Home run: Adrian Gonzalez (14)
WP -(2-2): 2 IP, 1 hit, 3 strikeouts
LP - Kenley Jansen (2-1): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 2 strikeouts
Sv - Jeurys Familia (22): 1 IP, 1 strikeout