NEW YORK (AP) — Cody Bellinger hit a grand slam to break a scoreless tie in the sixth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the sinking New York Mets 5-2 on Friday night behind Alex Wood’s effective pitching.
Yasiel Puig added a solo home run in the ninth, and the defending NL champions won their 10th straight against the Mets dating to May 2016. Los Angeles has outscored New York 75-20 in those games, winning each of the past eight by at least three runs — a first in Dodgers history against any opponent, according to STATS.
Wood (3-5) outdueled Zack Wheeler, allowing two runs and six hits in six innings to win his second consecutive start. The left-hander with the funky delivery struck out seven and walked one.
Jose Bautista hit his first homer for the Mets, a two-run shot off Wood in the sixth. An error by second baseman Max Muncy gave New York a chance in the eighth, but with runners at the corners Scott Alexander got Bautista to ground into an inning-ending double play on the next pitch.
Muncy made the turn after a nice play by shortstop Enrique Hernandez.
Alexander tossed two shutout innings, and Kenley Jansen fanned two in a perfect ninth for his 19th save.
New York wasted a dazzling catch by center fielder Michael Conforto that saved a run in the third. After starting the season 11-1, the Mets (31-42) lost for the 21st time in 27 games to fall a season-worst 11 games under .500.
Wheeler (2-6) walked his first two batters in the sixth — though his full-count pitch to leadoff man Joc Pederson certainly appeared to be in the strike zone. One out later, Matt Kemp blooped a single to right field to load the bases.
Bellinger connected on an 0-2 delivery, launching a 96 mph fastball into the second deck in right for his second career slam. Last season’s NL Rookie of the Year began the night hitting .179 with runners in scoring position.
In the opener of a three-game series, Wheeler went seven innings. He threw 114 pitches, his most since returning to the mound last year after missing two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Dodgers: SS Chris Taylor was out of the lineup because of a tight left hamstring. Hernandez started in place of Taylor, who exited Wednesday’s game in Chicago against the Cubs. He was available off the bench — probably just to hit, according to manager Dave Roberts. “We’ll give him today and we’ll see about tomorrow,” Roberts said. … Reserve infielder Chase Utley was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list after missing 19 games with a sprained left thumb. … Rookie RHP Walker Buehler is scheduled to throw 20 to 30 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday, the next step in his comeback from a right rib microfracture. He could return to the rotation without a minor league rehab assignment, Roberts said. Buehler is 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA in nine big league starts.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (strained ligament in right index finger) was scheduled to play catch. … OFs Yoenis Cespedes (tightness in upper right quad) and Jay Bruce (strained right hip) will not resume baseball activities until they are free of symptoms. … 3B David Wright (shoulder, back surgery) planned to hit in the indoor batting cage and go through other baseball activities on the field.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.76 ERA) is set to make a surprise return from the disabled list Saturday night, starting against Jacob deGrom (5-2, major league-low 1.51 ERA) in a marquee matchup — weather permitting. Kershaw has been sidelined since June 1 with a lower back strain. He originally was scheduled for a rehab start Saturday with Triple-A Oklahoma City at Omaha, but heavy rain in the forecast caused the team to change plans. The three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2014 NL MVP, who also missed nearly all of May with left biceps tendinitis, will be limited against the Mets, with 21-year-old rookie LHP Caleb Ferguson (0-1, 7.59 ERA) ready in reserve.
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