Backed by 3 HRs, Scherzer leads Dodgers past Mets 4-3
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Trea Turner, Albert Pujols and Chris Taylor each homered, and Max Scherzer won for the third time in four starts since being acquired as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the slumping New York Mets 4-3 Saturday.
The surging Dodgers have won nine consecutive games, matching a season-best win streak. Six of those wins have come against the Mets, who have dropped eight of nine overall.
Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth for his 27th save. He hit Kevin Pillar to lead off the inning, then got Brandon Nimmo to ground out and struck out Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso.
“We keep grinding. We keep making pitches,” Jansen said. “If we click, and we are clicking right now, nobody can stop us. We’ve just got to continue to do this and do us and continue to focus for the big prize.”
The Dodgers had a three-run lead through six innings before Alonso hit a two-run home run, his 28th of the season, off reliever Blake Treinen in the seventh.
New York squandered a ripe opportunity in the fifth when it loaded the bases against Scherzer with two outs. Scherzer struck out J.D. Davis to end the threat, but it was a taxing 34-pitch inning for Scherzer, whose day was done after that big strikeout.
“Things were kind of spinning out of control. In that situation, you just want to execute and get the out,” Scherzer said. “Things are going sideways, just collect yourself and execute the pitches that you need to. I’d thrown J.D. Davis some good sliders earlier in the game and in that situation I wanted to try to get a heater by and fortunately enough I was.”
Nimmo homered for the Mets, a solo shot to right field off Scherzer in the fifth inning. Scherzer allowed just that one run and five hits. He struck out eight and walked one. Nimmo had three hits.
Rich Hill (6-5) allowed three solo homers over five innings, including Pujols’ 15th of the season. The 41-year-old Pujols previously homered against the 40-year-old Hill on Aug. 17, 2007. The 14-year, four-day span between consecutive home runs off a pitcher is the third longest in MLB history, according to STATS. The only longer stretches were Carlos Beltran and Bartolo Colon, (15 years, 313 days) and Barry Bonds, Jesse Orosco (14 years, 69 days).
Scherzer (11-4) has allowed five earned runs in 21 1/3 innings (2.11 ERA) since being acquired along with Turner from the Washington Nationals on July 30. The Dodgers have won all four games in which Scherzer has started, including a pair against the Mets.
“It’s really tough,” Nimmo said. “A few weeks ago we were in first place and feeling pretty good about things. I knew a tough stretch was coming and it wouldn’t be easy. It’s difficult to stay even keeled even though, that’s what we have to do. I know all the guys want to fix this. It’s a tough time we’re going through. Sometimes, baseball is like that. These are good teams. It’s been a tough ride here the last few weeks.”
Turner had three hits, including his first home run as a Dodger.
Jansen, who pitched two consecutive days, will not be available for the finale in the four-game series. Manager Dave Roberts has confidence in his closer.
“He’s throwing the baseball really well,” Roberts said. “(Friday and today) the ball was coming out of his hand well. Obviously, you don’t want to hit the leadoff batter. … Kenley found a way to get the outs. I’ve really got a lot of confidence in him.”
The Mets had a star-studded matchup at Dodger Stadium, at least before the game, when pitcher Noah Syndergaard (Tommy John surgery) and shorstop Francisco Lindor (right oblique strain) faced each other in live batting practice. Syndergaard threw 20 pitches to Lindor and INF Luis Guillorme. Lindor could return to the lineup as early as Sunday.
Mets: INF Javier Baez (back spasms) could be activated as early as Sunday.
Dodgers: OF Mookie Betts (hip) was baserunning at full speed Saturday and could return to the lineup next week. … LHP Clayton Kershaw (elbow) is expected to throw off a mound next week.
Mets: RHP Marcus Stroman (8-12, 2.84) is tied for ninth in MLB in ERA. He struck out a career-high nine batters in his last start and gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings in a loss to the Giants.
Dodgers: LHP David Price (4-1, 3.62) is 0-1 with a 3.62 ERA in 11 starts this season and 4-0 with a 3.63 ERA in 21 relief appearances. He’s facing the Mets for just the second time in his career.
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