LOS ANGELES – The New York Mets arrived at Dodger Stadium anticipating a four-game showdown that might tell them some things about their ability to contend with baseball's best teams.
After clutch hits from Pete Alonso and J.D. Davis, a blown late lead and a gritty finish by rookie Adonis Medina in a thrilling series finale, the Mets are leaving LA confident they've got the talent and tenacity to play with anybody.
Davis led off the 10th inning with an RBI double after the Mets wasted a two-run lead in the ninth, and New York hung on to salvage a four-game split with a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
“Hopefully the test is more so at the end of the year,” Davis said. “I think it was maybe more so a quiz.”
The results are already in, however: The Mets are good, and they'll only get better when Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom return from injury. With one-third of the regular season finished, New York (37-19) nudged back ahead of Los Angeles (35-19) for the NL’s best record with its eighth win in 10 games.
Alonso doubled home the tying run in the eighth and scored the go-ahead run on Eduardo Escobar’s sacrifice fly. Alonso then started the 10th on second base as the automatic runner and scored another go-ahead run on Davis’ hit off Craig Kimbrel (0-2).
Medina came through in the biggest moment of his career to date, retiring Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman to open the Dodgers’ half of the 10th. Trea Turner reached on catcher interference and the Dodgers got two runners in scoring position, but Medina coolly struck out Will Smith to earn his first career save in his sixth appearance for the Mets, who used closer Edwin Díaz against LA's 1-2-3 hitters in the eighth.
“For this team to have that trust in me at that moment, it’s a big deal,” Medina said through a translator.
Smith homered and Eddy Alvarez tied it with a two-out RBI single in the ninth for the Dodgers, who have lost five of seven. With the final loss of a dismal 2-5 homestand, they fell to 31-2 this season when leading after seven innings.
“You can see how talented they are, the pitching they have and the lineup they have,” said Turner, who hit an early two-run homer for the Dodgers. “They're a pretty complete ballclub, as are we. ... Anytime you can go head-to-head with one of the better teams in the league, it's always fun, and I think this series was pretty fun.”
Starling Marte homered early in the second straight victory for the Mets, who won at Chavez Ravine after trailing in the eighth inning for the first time since July 22, 2007. New York, which has lost only two of its first 17 series this season, improved to 5-0 in extra-inning games while the Dodgers dropped to 0-4.
“We're never going to give up, no matter the score of the game,” Escobar said. “We never know which players are going to come up big, but we're going to keep trying. ... It felt like a playoff atmosphere. We know what type of team the Dodgers are, but we've got a good team.”
Los Angeles nursed a 2-1 lead from Turner's first-inning homer before Alonso, Escobar and Tomas Nido drove in runs against the Dodgers’ bullpen in the eighth.
“The homer from Trea was great, but we just sort of shut down for seven innings and didn't threaten," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Could have had an opportunity to put those guys away, and to let a team like that hang around, they're going to put some runs on the board. That's what happened.”
After Smith hit a leadoff homer in the ninth off Seth Lugo (1-1), Alvarez singled home Chris Taylor to tie it in his second appearance for the Dodgers, who recalled the former Olympic medal-winning speed skater Friday.
Julio Urías pitched three-hit ball into the sixth inning for the Dodgers, rebounding from two dismal home starts. Trevor Williams yielded six hits and struck out five over five innings for New York.
Mets leadoff hitter Brandon Nimmo dropped to the dirt in pain after getting hit on the right hand by a full-count pitch from Caleb Ferguson in the seventh inning. Nimmo sprained his right wrist last month and missed a few games, but he stayed in this game.
Mets: RHP Tylor Megill (right biceps tendinitis) pitched into the fourth inning of a rehab start at Double-A Binghamton. He's likely to return to New York soon.
Dodgers: Kevin Pillar will have surgery Tuesday on his injured shoulder, and his season is likely over, Roberts said. The veteran outfielder achieved a lifelong dream when he joined his hometown Dodgers last month, but he appeared in only four games before getting hurt while sliding last Wednesday. ... LHP Clayton Kershaw (back pain) threw four innings of three-hit ball in a minor league rehab start. He could return to LA's rotation this weekend for his first start since May 7.
Mets: Carlos Carrasco (6-1, 3.63 ERA) takes the mound in San Diego on Monday to open a three-game series with the Padres.
Dodgers: After a travel day, Mitch White (1-1, 4.79 ERA) is expected to take the mound Tuesday in Chicago when LA opens a three-game series with the White Sox.
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