Matt Kamlet, CBSLA.com
QUEENS, NY (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Dodgers successfully avoided falling to their first .500 status since before the 2013 All-Star Break.
Josh Beckett got his second consecutive win in his first start at Citi Field in New York as the Dodgers rode a 4-run fifth inning to hold on and beat the New York Mets 9-4 on Tuesday night.
The Dodgers are now 10-1 against New York’s National League team, dating back to July of 2012.
The first fireworks of the ball game were presented courtesy of Carl Crawford in left-center field the bottom of the first inning. After earning a 3-1 count at the plate, David Wright connected on a fastball to send a ball towards the gap. With the ball hanging, Crawford took advantage, and made an impressive diving catch to end the inning.
Crawford’s show was not even temporarily over, however.
In the top of the second, Crawford walked with one out, and with Juan Uribe at the plate, reached third on his 7th stolen base of the year, when catcher Juan Centeno overthrew second base.
With two outs, Crawford would give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead when Beckett knocked a slicing liner just beyond the reach of Daniel Murphy in short right field.
An opportunity to increase the lead was obliterated at the plate when Yasiel Puig, who singled in his first at-bat, went down swinging with the bases loaded to erase the threat.
The Dodgers are a major-league-worst 3-for-32 with the bases loaded this season (.093).
All three hits have been singles.
The game was tied when Adrian Gonzalez was unable to snag a deep throw from Hanley Ramirez, who scooped a grounder by Wilmer Flores up deep in the hole. Granderson scored with two outs on the play.
The Dodgers managed to leave six runners on base within the first three innings.
In the third, following a one out double by Gonzalez and a single from Matt Kemp, who has hit .365 with eight multi-hit games since May 3, Crawford went down swingi9ng and Uribe lined out to right field to end the inning.
Gonzalez’ next at-bat would be more productive.
In the fifth inning, with Puig on first, Gonzalez connected on a ball to send it over the wall in right field for his 11th homer of the season, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.
“Tonight was great,” Gonzalez said. “We took walks, putting pressure on and putting up runs. We tallied up a pretty easy win there at the end.”
Crawford, who as of Tuesday has hit safely in 12 of 13 games, singled later in the inning to bring home Kemp, who had doubled directly following Gonzalez’ 2-run shot, extending the lead to 4-1.
The RBI single would chase Rafael Montero off the m0und.
The Dodgers were not done with their assault of the fifth inning, however. Uribe, with a single to center field, brought Crawford home, after Crawford stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch by reliever Jeurys Familia, giving the Dodgers a 5-1 lead.
Hanley Ramirez earned his 22nd RBI of the year when he knocked Puig, who was named National League Co-Player of the week, had doubled in the at-bat before Ramirez’, in with a single to right field, giving the Dodgers a 6-1 lead.
The Mets began jumping on Beckett in the bottom of the sixth, beginning with a solo home run by Curtis Granderson.
Chris Young followed with a double, right before Lucas Duda sent an absolute shot into right field to cut the deficit to two runs.
The Mets threatened to do further damage in the seventh inning.
Having expired Beckett, the Mets began to bully the Dodger bullpen — a practice much of the National League seems to have joined in on over recent weeks.
Following singles by Wright and Granderson, Chris Withrow relieved J.P. Howell, and promptly hit Young with an inside fastball.
With the bases loaded, Withrow, who has struggled over the last two weeks, was able to get Duda to pop out behind second base before getting a ground out from Flores to end the inning and the threat.
Carl Crawford would score again in the ninth, after Ethier grounded a fielder’s choice to first. First baseman Daniel Murphy opted a throw to home plate in an attempt to gun Crawford down. However, Crawford avoided the tag by Centeno with a feet-first slide, and the Dodgers got their 7-4 insurance run.
A second insurance run would come when Dee Gordon lined a ball down the left field line, scoring Justin Turner.
Turner entered the game to pinch run for Juan Uribe, who doubled to left earlier in the inning before coming up lame at second base with an apparent hamstring injury. Uribe just came off the DL late last week, and it is unclear whether he may be returning on the current road trip.
Puig then notched his third hit of the game with a hard grounder up the middle that scored Andre Ethier from second base, extending the lead to 9-4.
It was a comfortable lead for Kenley Jansen, who had last pitched on May 12 against the Miami Marlins.
Jansen would retire the Mets in order.
The Dodgers will send Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-2) to the mound Wednesday for his first start since his DL stint.