NEW YORK (AP)Max Scherzer wished he could have contributed a bit more to the biggest offensive outburst the Los Angeles Dodgers have enjoyed since he joined the club.
Another Max helped ensure the Dodgers needed nothing more from Scherzer than his usual sturdy work on the mound.
Max Muncy hit a pair of two-run homers and Scherzer worked out of some trouble over six solid innings Sunday night, leading the Dodgers to a 14-4 rout of the New York Mets and a sweep of the three-game series.
Scherzer took the mound with a 3-0 lead behind a two-run homer from former Mets utilityman Justin Turner and a solo shot by Will Smith. The Dodgers doubled the lead in the second when Scherzer grounded out before Trea Turner laced an RBI double and Muncy hit his first homer.
”Pitchers love run support,” Scherzer said with a grin.
Scherzer helped his cause in the sixth, delivering a sacrifice fly that scored Billy McKinney with the Dodgers’ seventh run. It was the first RBI of the season for Scherzer, who is 0 for 41 this year and hitless in his last 44 at-bats dating to Sept. 18, 2019.
”I’m looking for a knock – I’ll do anything for this knock, to finally get off zero,” Scherzer said. ”So I’ll take a sacrifice fly, at least get a ribbie.”
Scherzer allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. The Mets had at least two runners on base in each of the first four innings, but went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position against Scherzer, who limited the damage to run-scoring groundouts by Jeff McNeil in the third and Michael Conforto in the fourth.
The Mets didn’t score in the first or second despite the Dodgers committing miscues behind Scherzer. In the first, Smith threw to third in an unsuccessful attempt to throw out Brandon Nimmo on Pete Alonso’s squibber in front of the plate. Trea Turner dropped a potential double play relay from Justin Turner in the second.
”I know the line score said he went six, but he actually went seven-plus – didn’t play good defense at all behind him,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. ”Gave away bases (and) outs. But for him, he didn’t bat an eye and that’s what makes him so great.”
Scherzer’s sacrifice fly and Muncy’s second homer two batters later extended the Dodgers’ lead to 9-2. The two-homer game was the second of the season for Muncy, who went deep twice against the Colorado Rockies on July 17. It was the seventh multi-homer game of his career.
”Finally making the adjustments to how they were pitching me,” said Muncy, who had just two homers in his previous 20 games.
The Mets scored twice in the seventh when Brandon Nimmo raced home on a wild pitch and J.D. Davis, batting with the bases loaded, flew out to the wall in center. But Edwin Uceta struck out Jonathan Villar. New York finished the series 3 for 30 with runners in scoring position.
”We’ve got to get the hitting going once again,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. ”The hitting’s got to show up. That’s the bottom line.”
With the remnants of the crowd of 31,205 chanting ”Let’s go Dodgers,” Los Angeles scored three times in the eighth on a two-run single by Smith and an RBI double by Chris Taylor.
The Dodgers scored twice in the ninth when Matt Beaty hit a two-run homer off Mets outfielder Brandon Drury. Fellow outfielder Kevin Pillar got the final out. The 14 runs were the most for Los Angeles since a 22-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks July 10.
The Dodgers are 10-4 since July 30 – when they acquired Scherzer and Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals – but have actually lost a game in the standings to the San Francisco Giants, who lead the NL West by five games.
”Obviously we would have loved to (gain ground),” Roberts said. ”We can’t control what they do. We’ve just got to continue winning baseball games.”
Carlos Carrasco (0-1) gave up six runs on six hits and one walk with three strikeouts over two innings as the Mets fell to 56-55 and 2 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. New York departed afterward for a seven-game road trip against the Giants and Dodgers.
”It’s a tough series, not to get one win out of it, but we’ve got to turn the page quick,” Rojas said.
A NIGHT OF FIRSTS
Scherzer’s sacrifice fly was the first of his career, as well as his first RBI since May 27, 2019. In the eighth, reliever Edwin Uceta batted for himself and legged out an infield single for his first career hit.
When Drury and Pillar combined to throw the ninth, it marked the first time the Mets have used two position players as pitchers in the same game.
REED ALL ABOUT IT
Reed relieved Carrasco to start the third and tossed three scoreless innings. He is the 60th player to appear in a game this season for the Mets, extending the single-season franchise record. The previous record was 56 players, set in 2018, The major league record is held by the 2019 Seattle Mariners, who used 67 players.
Reed also became the sixth Reed to appear in a game for the Mets, joining Darren (1990), Rick (1997-2001), Steve (2002), Jeremy (2009) and Addison (2015-17). Reed is tied for the fourth-most common Mets surname with Wilson, behind Johnson and Jones (eight) and Smith (seven).
Dodgers: 3B Justin Turner (left groin) returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Aug. 8. . LHP Clayton Kershaw (elbow) is scheduled to play catch Monday.
Mets: SS Francisco Lindor (right oblique) swung from the right side and made some diving stops while fielding grounders Sunday afternoon. Rojas said Lindor will travel to the West Coast with the Mets and could either play a simulated game or begin a rehab assignment during the road trip. . RHP Noah Syndergaard (Tommy John surgery) could soon throw to batters.
Dodgers: A bullpen game is planned Monday for the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. Roberts said the Dodgers would likely make a couple moves involving the pitching staff prior to Monday’s game.
Mets: LHP Rich Hill (6-4, 4.05 ERA) will start the opener of a three-game series at the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants.
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