Dodgers snap Mets' modest streak

May 30, 2008 8:18:41 PM PDT
Russell Martin went 4-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs, and the Los Angeles Dodgers took advantage of a blown call at first base to rally past the New York Mets, 9-5, Friday night.After prized prospect Clayton Kershaw was chased in the fourth inning of his second major league start, Chan Ho Park (2-1) shut down the Mets to give manager Joe Torre a victory in his return to New York.

The Dodgers broke out of their offensive slumber by battering reliever Aaron Heilman (0-2) in a five-run eighth. They snapped a four-game skid and won for only the second time in eight tries. Los Angeles scored only 12 runs in its previous seven games.

Luis Castillo hit a two-run homer for the Mets, who had won three straight after a 1-7 stretch. The second baseman left in the seventh with a strained left hip flexor after turning a difficult double play. He was replaced by Damion Easley.

With the Dodgers trailing 5-4, speedy Juan Pierre led off the eighth with a slow grounder to shortstop. He was called safe at first by umpire Tim Welke, though replays showed Jose Reyes' throw was in time.

Heilman came on and promptly gave up Matt Kemp's tying double past diving right fielder Fernando Tatis. Jeff Kent, James Loney and Martin followed with RBI singles to make it 8-5.

Loney scored on Scott Schoeneweis' wild pitch, and Blake DeWitt capped the rally with a run-scoring single.

It's a been a tough month for umpires, who have blown a string of home run calls - leading to cries for instant replay in baseball. One of those missed calls was by Welke, a crew chief who denied Alex Rodriguez a homer at Yankee Stadium last week even though his drive cleared the fence. A-Rod wound up with a double.

Heilman gave up hits to all four batters he faced, allowing four runs on 13 pitches. The right-hander, who had pitched well lately after a poor start this season, was booed loudly by the crowd of 52,176 - as was manager Willie Randolph when he returned to the dugout following the pitching change.

Torre, a big winner during 12 seasons guiding the Yankees, shuffled his lineup in an attempt to generate some offense and the Dodgers jumped on John Maine for three runs in the first inning.

Pierre drew a four-pitch walk and swiped second for his 21st stolen base. With two outs, Loney and Martin hit consecutive RBI doubles before Andre Ethier added a run-scoring single.

The Mets answered with two runs in the bottom half. Reyes reached on an infield single, extending his hitting streak to 15 games, and Castillo homered to left. It was the third home run this season for the slap-hitting Castillo and second in three nights - both in the first inning.

Kershaw walked three straight batters in the third, and Carlos Beltran's sacrifice fly tied it.

Martin's leadoff homer in the fourth put Los Angeles back in front, but Kershaw ran into more trouble in the bottom half. Consecutive singles by Ramon Castro, Carlos Delgado and Nick Evans loaded the bases with none out, and Reyes drove in a run with a fielder's choice grounder to third that was bobbled by DeWitt.

The Mets went up 5-4 in the seventh. David Wright hit a one-out double and New York loaded the bases for Castro, who hit a sharp RBI groundout that deflected off Park to DeWitt.


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