Matz blanks Dodgers for six as Mets roll
LOS ANGELES -- For once, the Mets had little trouble scoring Sunday at Dodger Stadium. And they didn't even need Steven Matz to contribute that much with the bat.
Matz did drive home his fifth run in two games in the Mets' 8-0 win over the Dodgers, also delivering six shutout innings in his second career start. Wilmer Flores added four hits to pace the eight-run attack, which featured two more runs than they scored in their previous five games combined.
"I just think some of the guys are starting to break out," Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Inefficient early, Matz needed 43 pitches to complete his first two innings, also knocking Adrian Gonzalez out of the game with an errant fastball in the first. But he settled down noticeably after a leadoff walk in the second, retiring 15 of the final 17 batters he faced.
Things did not go nearly as swimmingly for Dodgers starter Mike Bolsinger, who gave up four runs on nine hits in five innings. Two of those hits were singles by Flores, who added a pair of doubles later in the game to finish 10-for-13 with five RBIs in the three-game series.
"They've got a really good team obviously," Matz said. "So it was great to win the series."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Steven Batz: Though Matz flew out in his first at-bat Sunday, dropping to 3-for-4 in his fledgling career, he came through with an RBI groundout off Bolsinger in the fourth. That gave him five RBIs in his first five career plate appearances, tying Dwight Gooden for the most by any pitcher in a two-game span in Mets history.
Lost in right field: The Mets had already rallied for a run in the seventh when Juan Lagares lifted a deep fly ball to right-center field. Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig overran it, then lunged backward in a flailing attempt to catch the ball. His glove caught only air, as Lagares raced around the bases for a two-run triple to give the Mets a 7-0 lead.
Look out! In the middle of a three-run fourth, the Mets had a little help from the umpires. Lagares laced a grounder up the middle that struck second-base umpire Dan Bellino, awarding Lagares with a single. Lagares would come around to score on a single by Flores later in the inning to extend the Mets' lead to 4-0.
"It just seemed like everything was going their way," Bolsinger said. "They just had some seeing eye grounders that get through there and when you're a ground ball pitcher like that, some days you're going to get them where they're at and some days, you won't."
Connect Four: The most important of Flores' career-high four hits came in the first inning off Bolsinger, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. But Flores' banner day was just beginning. The shortstop-turned-second-baseman singled home a run in the fourth, doubled and scored in the seventh and doubled home the Mets' eighth run in the eighth. More >
"Honestly, I don't think those ground balls would've broke glass if they hit glass. Then hitting the umpire, it seemed like things was just rolling and rolling for them. It's tough, but you've got to get out of that." -- Bolsinger
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Matz continued stamping his name in the record books in his second career start. His 14 strikeouts are the second-most by any Mets pitcher in his first two big league outings, trailing only Matt Harvey's 18 whiffs in 2012. He became the fifth Mets pitcher to win each of his first two career appearances, and the first since Mike Pelfrey in 2006.
FROM THE TRAINER'S ROOM
Sunday wasn't the Dodgers' day, but it especially hurt as the team lost Gonzalez in the middle of the game. The slugger was hit by a pitch on the right hand in the first inning, and was removed from the game before his second at-bat in the fourth inning. He was diagnosed with a bruised right hand, but expects to play Monday. More >
"I really wanted to go down and away there but I kind of rushed," Matz said of the errant pitch. "I tried to be too quick."
With one out in the ninth, Puig hit a flare down the right-field line that was ruled a foul ball. The Dodgers challenged the ruling on the field, but the call was upheld after video review.
Mets: The Mets will take their hacks against Chris Heston on Monday for the first time since the Giants rookie no-hit them at Citi Field on June 9. Heston will oppose left-hander Jon Niese in the first game of a three-game set at AT&T Park. First pitch is scheduled for 10:15 p.m. ET.
Dodgers: The Dodgers continue their homestand with a four-game series against Philadelphia beginning Monday at 7:10 p.m. PT. Right-hander Carlos Frias will miss his scheduled start after being placed on the disabled list Sunday with lower back tightness. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins will face the Phillies for the first time after 15 seasons in Philadelphia.
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