NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — With a cleanup hitter batting .170 and the guy behind him hitting only a little bit better, the New York Mets stood little chance against Clayton Kershaw.
The Dodgers’ left-hander was about as dominant as expected, throwing a three-hitter for his second shutout of the season as Los Angeles beat the Mets 3-0 on Thursday night.
Kershaw (8-6) now has thrown 29 consecutive scoreless innings — 14 2-3 less than teammate Zack Greinke — and 11 career shutouts. He was perfect until Curtis Granderson lined a leadoff single in the seventh inning.
“Right now he’s pitching great,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “The way we’re swinging the bats, we were overmatched.”
The worst-hitting team in the majors was all but helpless against the three-time Cy Young Award winner. Kershaw struck out 11 and did not walk a batter. He has fanned 38 without a walk in his last three outings.
“After six innings nobody’s even got on base, as well as he was pitching you were just hoping that somebody was going to find a hole some place. Fortunately, Curtis did,” Collins said.
Jimmy Rollins hit his ninth home run in the third inning for first-place Los Angeles and that was enough for Kershaw (8-6). He improved to 6-0 with 1.34 ERA in his career against the Mets.
“I definitely thought we were going to see a perfect game tonight,” Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal said.
Bartolo Colon (9-9) did his best to keep the Mets in it, tossing eight innings and allowing five hits and one run.
“Is it frustrating? You have to ask (the pitchers),” Collins said.
The Dodgers tacked on two runs against relievers Sean Gilmartin and Carlos Torres in the ninth.
Kershaw threw his first no-hitter 13 months ago at Dodger Stadium against the Colorado Rockies, and he looked like he was on his way to No. 2 after six perfectly easy innings.
He threw 62 pitches, struck out eight and nobody came close to getting a hit. The closest New York came to getting a runner on came when Eric Campbell struck out in the fifth inning and the ball bounced away from the catcher. Yasmani Grandal quickly made an off-balanced throw to nip Campbell at first.
“Once the seventh inning rolls around, it’s time that it could be possible and didn’t last very long,” Kershaw said. “Not a whole lot of nerves. If you don’t do it, so what, but if you do, it’s pretty exciting.”
Kershaw got ahead 0-2 on Granderson leading off the seventh, but the Mets outfielder lined a clean single to right on the third pitch. Kershaw dipped his head, took a short walk behind the mound and proceeded to strike out the next batter, Ruben Tejada, swinging at a curveball.
The Mets came into the game with the lowest batting average in the majors at .235 and Thursday’s lineup was especially limited. New York had three starters, not including Colon, hitting under .200. The cleanup hitter John Mayberry Jr. started batting .170. In the five-hole, Campbell was batting .179.
On June 9, San Francisco rookie Chris Heston threw a no-hitter at Citi Field.
Dodgers: Greinke was supposed to start Friday night against the Mets but his shutout streak is on hold while the Los Angeles Dodgers ace and his wife await the birth of their first child. He has 43 2-3 scoreless innings and is approaching the big league record of 59 straight by Orel Hershiser in 1988 for the Dodgers. Manager Don Mattingly said before Thursday night’s game he hopes Greinke can be back from Los Angeles before the weekend series in New York is over. After the game the Dodgers said long reliever Ian Thomas (0-1, 5.23 ERA) will start Friday.
Mets: Jon Niese (5-8, 3.36 ERA) faces the Dodgers. There has been speculation that Los Angeles could be interested in acquiring the left-hander from New York in a trade.
Dodgers: LHP Brett Anderson, who left his last start in the third inning with an irritated Achilles’ tendon, is likely to be ready to start Sunday, Mattingly said.
Mets: LF Michael Cuddyer was re-examined by doctors and the Mets are hopeful that a switch in medication will help his aching left knee and keep him off the disabled list, manager Terry Collins said after the game. Cuddyer was not in the starting lineup for the 12th time in the last 19 games. … 3B David Wright (back) will return to New York next week and begin baseball activities. He has been on the DL since April 15. … C Travis d’Arnaud (elbow) was set to begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday night but the game was rained out.
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