The only thing higher than Jeremy Hefner’s ERA is the Dodgers payroll, yet somehow Hefner managed to hold Los Angeles to just one run Thursday afternoon. However the Dodgers scored against the Mets bullpen to take the rubber game of the Mets-Dodgers series.
From the outset, it looked like it was going to be another lousy Hefner start. He hit Carl Crawford to lead off the game, Crawford advanced to second on a ground out and scored on a single to give the Dodgers the early 1-0 lead.
But then Hefner settled down and didn’t allow the Dodgers anything else.
Meantime South Korean rookie Hyun Jin-Ryu stymied the Mets, allowing just one hit through the first five innings. But he walked Ruben Tejada to lead off the sixth and Daniel Murphy followed with a single. Tejada advanced to third on a wild pitch. Wright hit a sacrifice fly to center to tie the game at one. After Lucas Duda, moved up to the cleanup spot in place of struggling Ike Davis, struck out, Marlon Byrd doubled to left to put runners on second and third with two outs. But Davis struck out to end the threat and keep the game tied.
Hefner went seven innings, allowing the one run on three hits. He struck out four Dodgers and walked three. His ERA dropped from 7.07 to 5.14. After the no decision, however, he is still winless on the season. But Hefner needed a positive start, and he got it.
The Mets had a chance in the eighth. Tejada led off with a single and Murphy walked. But Wright struck out, Duda flew out and Byrd struck out.
The Dodgers had a chance in the ninth, and they did not let it get away. Nick Punto led off the inning with a double against Scott Rice and advanced to third on a ground out. Matt Kemp was intentionally walked. Andre Ethier then singled to center to score Punto and the Dodgers took the lead, 2-1. That was all for Rice, replaced by Bobby Parnell. Juan Uribe reached on an infield single to score Kemp to make it 3-1, for what turned out to be a huge insurance run.
That’s because Davis finally did something, leading off the bottom of the ninth with a home run to cut the lead to 3-2. But that was as close as the Mets could come, and Los Angeles wins the Mets-Dodgers series at Citi Field.