WHAT IT MEANS: Left-hander Scott Rice spent 14 seasons in the minors -- including the past two with the Los Angeles Dodgers -- before becoming a positive contributor this year in his first MLB season.
The 31-year-old Rice stumbled Thursday afternoon, though.
New York Mets
With a switch-hitter and a pair of lefty hitters due up and the score tied in the ninth, Terry Collins demonstrated his faith in Rice by allowing him to remain in the game to face the heart of the Dodgers’ lineup.
The Dodgers ultimately beat the Mets, 3-2, at Citi Field after Ike Davis contributed a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth.
The Mets (10-10), bidding to win their first four home series of a season for the first time since 1976, instead dropped to .500 with the rubber-game loss.
The Mets now are 5-0 in games started by Matt Harvey and 5-10 when anyone else takes the mound.
HEFTY PERFORMANCE: Jeremy Hefner, who had struggled serving up long balls this season, limited L.A. to one run on three hits while striking out four, walking three and hitting a batter in a 93-pitch effort spanning seven innings. The lone run came in the first, when Hefner plunked leadoff batter Carl Crawford and surrendered a two-out RBI single to Kemp.
WOE IS IKE: Davis, who was displaced from the cleanup spot by Lucas Duda on Thursday afternoon, struggled until delivering the ninth-inning homer. Davis had been 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. His second strikeout ended the sixth inning and stranded two runners in scoring position.
Davis has 24 Ks in 69 at-bats.
He also dropped a ball off the heel of his glove in foul territory in the eighth, although Jerry Hairston Jr. subsequently flied out and the faux pas did not cost the Mets.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Philadelphia Phillies visit for a weekend series. Dillon Gee (1-3, 5.95 ERA), who is coming off an outing in which he tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings against the Nats and picked up his first win, opposes right-hander Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 3.28) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener.