LOS ANGELES (WFAN/AP) — Ruben Tejada doubled home two runs while filling in again for injured shortstop Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran doubled twice and scored twice, and the Mets beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight victory.
Jonathon Niese (8-7) allowed three runs and five hits over seven innings, improving to 8-4 over his last 14 starts. The left-hander has won a career-best four straight outings on the road.
“If you would have told me we were going to win without Jose, I would have said, ‘How?'” said manager Terry Collins. “I truly believe these guys, when he went down, they said, ‘We’ve got to rally. We’ve got to rally around each other and get it done.'”
Bobby Parnell pitched a perfect eighth and Francisco Rodriguez got three outs for his 22nd save in 25 chances, putting the four-time All-Star within 10 of 300.
Hiroki Kuroda (6-10) gave up four runs and eight hits over six innings for Los Angeles, dropping to 1-5 with a 5.75 ERA in seven career starts against the Mets. It was the 36-year-old right-hander’s 100th major league start after 11 seasons with Hiroshima of the Japanese Central League.
New York (45-42) is three games over .500 for the first time July 23, 2010.
“We lost Jose,” said Jason Bay. “It would have been easy to kind of roll over with all the guys we’re missing and just wait to get them back. Guys have stepped up.”
New York scored three times in the sixth to take a 4-1 lead. Beltran led off with his second double, advanced to third on a throwing error by left fielder Eugenio Velez after he caught Daniel Murphy’s fly ball, and scored when Kuroda bounced a pitch in the dirt off A.J. Ellis’ chest protector. Lucas Duda and John Thole followed with two-out singles, and Tejada drove both of them in with a double to right-center after Kuroda was visited by pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.
The Dodgers responded with two runs in the bottom half, capitalizing on a blown call by first base umpire Greg Gibson. Andre Ethier hit an opposite-field RBI single through the left side and Matt Kemp followed with what appeared to be a tailor-made double-play grounder to shortstop. But Gibson ruled Kemp beat the relay, bringing Collins out of the dugout for a brief argument.
Television replays showed Gibson got it wrong. Jamey Carroll took third on the fielder’s choice grounder and scored on Juan Uribe’s sacrifice fly — which would have been the third out.
The Mets tacked on another run in the ninth on Justin Turner’s two-out RBI single. They have scored 166 runs with two out, second in the majors to Boston’s 170.
Beltran led off the Mets’ fourth with a double and scored the game’s first run on Duda’s two-out double inside first base, but the Dodgers tied it in the bottom half.
Duda fielded Carroll’s leadoff grounder wide of first base, but had no play when Niese was late covering the bag. Ethier grounded into a fielder’s choice, advanced to third on Kemp’s bloop single and scored on a groundout by Uribe.
Beltran misplayed Carroll’s single down the line in the first inning, and Carroll ended up at second after initially being held up by coach Davey Lopes. That ended a 179-game errorless streak by Beltran, a three-time Gold Glove winner whose previous error also came at Dodger Stadium on May 5, 2009.
NOTES: The Dodgers are 19-27 at Chavez Ravine, with four games left on a homestand that leads into the All-Star break. It will be the first time they’ve had a losing record at home at the break since 1999 (22-23). … Thursday’s series finale will match Clayton Kershaw against Dillon Gee, who teamed up with relievers Mike O’Connor and Tim Byrdak to end Ethier’s 30-game hitting streak on May 7 at New York. … The Mets are 26-21 since 3B David Wright was sidelined because of a stress fracture in his lower back, and 4-0 since Reyes strained his left hamstring. … Niese and Kuroda faced each other on May 6 at New York, with the Mets beating Kuroda 6-3. Niese ended up with a no-decision.
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