NEW YORK — At the end of one inning on Friday, Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw was staring a couple of not-so-desired career firsts in his soon-to-be Hall of Fame career. Teammate Gavin Lux, whose Major League career has lasted all of 10 games, made sure Kershaw got back on the winning foot.
Lux came through in the fourth inning with a go-ahead three-run home run while Kershaw was solid in hiws 6 1/3 innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers ran away with a 9-2 victory over the New York Mets at Citi Field. The home run was Lux’s second career dinger, part of a four-run inning that allowed the Dodgers to come back from Kershaw’s home run allowed to J.D. Davis to give a Mets an early 1-0 lead.
Kershaw came into the game looking to avoid losing a fourth consecutive start for the first time in his career. What helped his cause was tonight’s opponent, as Kershaw sported a 9-0 career record with a 2.14 ERA against the Mets in the regular season before his workmanlike effort tonight.
Joe Kelly came in to the game after Kershaw loaded the bases with one out in the seventh and retired two of the three batters he faced in the inning as Los Angeles maintainede a sizable lead at 7-2.
“It was OK,” said Kershaw, who improved to 4-0 lifetime at Citi Field in the regular season. “After that first inning I got into a little bit of a groove there. Not great not to finish the seventh. Joe really bailed me out there and did a great job. The middle innings, I found a rhythm there. Sometimes it happens. Hopefully, I get on one of those every start.”
Lux is starting to get into a rhythm with the Dodgers after tearing the cover off the ball in Triple-A Oklahoma City, and he lifted a 3-2 pitch off Mets starter Noah Syndergaard just over the orange line at the top of the wall in center field for a three-run blast that would be all the offense Los Angeles needed. A.J. Pollock had tied the game one batter prior in the fourth with a base hit to center to score Cody Bellinger to tie the game at 1-1.
Syndergaard, who attempted to downplay the past conversations with manager Mickey Callaway that he would rather have personal catcher Tomas Nido behind the plate during his starts instead of Wilson Ramos, went just five innings while allowing four runs on five hits. In 16 starts with Ramos behind the plate, Syndergaard has posted a 5.20 ERA, compared with the 2.45 ERA in 10 starts this season when Nido has been the starting catcher.
“Mechanically, I felt really good as far as I was able to keep my tempo up,” Syndergaard said. “I thought Wilson called a really good game, I felt we were meshing out there. Just wish I could have one pitch back.”
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Friday evening’s game, with all photos taken by ALOST senior photographer Robert Cole. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are currently 25 pictures in total.