LOS ANGELES (AP)Javier Baez stepped up to the plate for the first time in 12 days and promptly smacked an RBI double off the Dodger Stadium wall.
J.D. Davis and the slumping New York Mets backed him up with their best offensive performance since Baez left the lineup.
By the time they were finished beating the defending champions, the Mets looked sharp enough to suggest there’s still time for Baez – and maybe Francisco Lindor – to help them save their season.
Baez had two doubles in his first game back from injury, Davis homered and drove in four runs, and New York snapped the Los Angeles Dodgers’ nine-game winning streak with a 7-2 victory Sunday.
Baez made an immediate contribution in his return from an 11-game absence due to back spasms, driving in a run and scoring another during the Mets’ three-run first against David Price (4-2). With Lindor also due to return from his injury absence shortly, New York is eager to have its star double-play combination finally on the field together down the stretch.
”Even when I was out, I was trying to bring my energy and bring my happiness to the team, to the dugout,” Baez said. ”I know we’re going through a struggle right now. We understand we’re playing really good teams. I think we’ve got the talent to be up there, and I hope it comes back to us pretty soon.”
Baez added a two-out double in the seventh for his second multi-hit game since joining the Mets last month from the Cubs, and Davis quickly brought him home by connecting off Phil Bickford for his first homer since July 17, ending a 33-game drought.
”Just to see a new face in the lineup that hasn’t been there for 10 days or so who comes in and whacks that ball, that double, I think that’s something the team can feed off of,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. ”There are some good things you can transmit to the other players. I think that set the tone for us.”
Davis also drove in runs with a single in the first and a bases-loaded walk in the ninth for New York, which hadn’t scored seven runs in a game since Aug. 10 – and that was the only other time the Mets have done it since July 21.
Marcus Stroman (9-12) earned his third win in 13 starts with six innings of four-hit ball for the Mets, who avoided a four-game series sweep and a seven-game season sweep at the Dodgers’ hands with just their second win in 10 games overall – all against the Dodgers and Giants.
Cody Bellinger had a two-run single in the fourth, but Los Angeles’ second nine-game winning streak in two months ended just shy of becoming the defending World Series champions’ longest streak since 2017.
”We didn’t play awful, but (we’ll) just get back at it, keep the train moving,” outfielder AJ Pollock said.
Los Angeles dropped 2 1/2 games behind San Francisco atop the NL West and overall MLB standings.
”The (Mets’) `pen came in and kept us quiet, but early on we were good, and I thought we were going to break through,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. ”Just couldn’t find a way to get some baserunners and get some runs on the board.”
The Mets had been 3 for 47 with runners in scoring position against the Dodgers this season before the first inning, when Davis and Jonathan Villar both came through. Los Angeles had outscored its opponents 10-0 in the first inning during its winning streak.
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Price yielded three hits, three runs and two walks over four innings. The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner is winless in 11 starts – none lasting six full innings – since being forced into the Dodgers’ rotation by injuries.
Veteran reliever Neftali Feliz threw a perfect eighth inning for Los Angeles in his debut for his seventh major league team. The Dodgers signed Feliz to a minor league deal last month shortly after Philadelphia designated him for assignment.
Feliz was the 36th pitcher this season for the Dodgers, whose staff has been dogged by constant injuries.
Shane Greene then became the Dodgers’ 37th pitcher in the ninth, but he was pulled after giving up a one-out single, hitting two Mets with pitches and issuing a bases-loaded walk to Davis after getting ahead 0-2.
Los Angeles signed Greene on Friday, six days after Atlanta released him.
Mets: Baez had been out since Aug. 10. New York went 3-8 without him. … Lindor should return early this week from his five-week absence with a right oblique strain, Rojas said. … Davis stayed in the game after being hit on the hand by a bad-hop grounder in the fourth.
Dodgers: Mookie Betts (right hip) will participate in a simulated game Monday and probably Tuesday. Los Angeles hopes to activate the former MVP on Thursday.
Mets: Tylor Megill (1-2, 3.21 ERA) takes the mound at home Tuesday against the MLB-leading Giants.
Dodgers: Julio Urias (13-3, 3.29 ERA) is expected to return from his injured list stint with a bruised calf to start the series opener at San Diego on Tuesday.
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