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Late surge lifts Mets’ over Dodgers in statement-series win


The real showdown might come in October, but for now, the Mets will have to settle for taking the season series against the team with the best record in baseball. 

In the rubber match of both their three-game series and seven-game season series, the Mets pulled away late against the Dodgers bullpen for a 5-3 win on Thursday at Citi Field. 

The Mets (84-48) pushed across two runs in the sixth inning to take the lead, added two more runs in the seventh and then survived a rare scare from Edwin Diaz in the eighth to take two of three from the Dodgers (90-40). 

Francisco Lindor and Starling Marte fueled the offense, combining for four hits, three runs and two RBIs. 

After Clayton Kershaw’s shaky first inning, in which he walked three and gave up a run, the left-hander found his command and settled into a groove to retire the final 13 batters he faced through the fifth inning. But in his first start back from the injured list because of back issues, the Dodgers ended his outing after 74 pitches and went to the bullpen to begin the sixth inning protecting a 2-1 lead. 

Francisco Lindor reacts after his RBI double in the sixth inning.
Francisco Lindor reacts after his RBI double in the sixth inning.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

The Mets quickly pounced on right-hander Chris Martin. Marte led off by hustling out an infield single and came around to score the tying run on a double by Lindor. 

After Pete Alonso struck out, Daniel Vogelbach — who had been on deck to pinch hit for the slumping Darin Ruf (1 for his last 21) — returned to the dugout as Ruf hit for himself. Lindor stole third base on Martin’s first pitch to Ruf, which proved critical when Ruf lifted a deep fly ball to left field for a sacrifice fly that gave the Mets a 3-2 lead. 

Trevor May relieved Chris Bassitt in the seventh inning and worked around a leadoff walk to keep the Dodgers at bay. 

The Dodgers then gifted the Mets a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the inning. After James McCann roped a double to left-center field — his third hard-hit ball of the day — Brandon Nimmo’s bloop to shallow right field fell in between Gavin Lux and Mookie Betts to make it 4-2. 

Chris Bassitt pitches on Thursday during the Mets' win over the Dodgers.
Chris Bassitt pitches on Thursday during the Mets’ win over the Dodgers.
Robert Sabo for the NY POST

Marte followed with a single to score Nimmo from second for the 5-2 Mets lead. 

With the heart of the Dodgers’ order due up in the eighth inning, Buck Showalter went to Diaz early. The closer issued a leadoff walk to Freddie Freeman and then hit Will Smith with a 1-2 slider. 

Starling Marte delivers an RBI single in the seventh inning.
Starling Marte delivers an RBI single in the seventh inning.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

The Dodgers’ next two hitters both came within feet of a game-tying three-run homer. Instead, only one run scored, on Justin Turner’s sacrifice fly to deep center field. 

Diaz escaped the inning by fanning Lux on a 103 mph fastball. 

Francisco Lindor, left, celebrates as Brandon Nimmo scores.
Francisco Lindor, left, celebrates as Brandon Nimmo scores.
Robert Sabo for the NY POST

Adam Ottavino then struck out a pair in the ninth on the way to his third save of the season. 

The Mets loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first inning but only came away with a 1-0 lead. Ruf popped out for the second out before Mark Canha drew a walk — Kershaw’s third of the inning — to force in a run. 

But Jeff McNeil allowed Kershaw to escape at 25 pitches by popping up to foul territory. 

The Dodgers then took the lead right back in the next half-inning against Bassitt, though they, too, could have had more. A Turner double, Lux single and Trayce Thompson walk loaded the bases with one out for Chris Taylor, who sliced a single to right field. 

Taylor’s knock scored Turner and Lux to make it 2-1, but Thompson also tried to score on the play and was thrown out at home.



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