The way the Mets had been going, Duda wasn't going to apologize to anybody about a bloop double, not when it sparked his team a win it desperately needed. The Mets would add an infield single off Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen as they scrounged up a 2-1 win Friday at Dodger Stadium.
Once again, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw had nothing to show for a strong outing. The Dodgers managed only three hits.
How it happened: Kershaw did what you would have expected him to do against a struggling offense. He kept it struggling. The Dodgers' ace worked around trouble most of the evening, striking out six batters over seven innings and giving up five hits. The Mets, who scored only one run in getting swept at home by the Chicago Cubs before coming here, scored their only run against Kershaw after John Mayberry Jr. led off the fourth inning with a double and advanced on a wild pitch. Kershaw's only real problem lately is getting enough runs with which to work. It happened again Friday, as the Dodgers could score only one run while he was in the game. Kershaw (5-6) had to settle for fist bumps and handshakes from his teammates in the dugout when he was lifted for pinch hitter Alex Guerrero after 102 pitches in the seventh inning. Kershaw is 0-3 in his last four starts despite a 2.67 ERA. This time the poor run support was forgivable since the Dodgers were facing young flame thrower Noah Syndergaard. Adrian Gonzalez stroked a solo home run to center field in the second inning, but Syndergaard dominated after that, holding the Dodgers to two hits over six innings.
What it means: The Dodgers had won six of their previous eight games coming in, but the offense has yet to show it can sustain much momentum. Lucky for the Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants are ice cold and their division lead remains three games.
Notable: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly called it a "changing of the guard," when the team designated veteran reliever Brandon League for assignment. The team determined he would not be one of their seven most-effective relievers as his minor-league rehab assignment came to a close. The Dodgers expect League to sign with another team. They will be required to pay him the remainder of his $7.5 million salary. ... Justin Turner, who had been cast off by the Mets two winters ago, did a little damage to his former team. He had one of two hits off Syndergaard, a double in the fourth inning, and walked in the sixth. ... Kershaw walked two batters in the first inning but struck out Duda on a curveball to get out of the jam. It was the first time in more than two years that Kershaw had walked more than one batter in the first inning.
Up next: The teams continue the series Saturday afternoon at 4:15 p.m. PT. Zack Greinke (6-2, 1.58 ERA), one of the leading contenders to start the All-Star Game for the National League, will go for the Dodgers, who will have to face the Mets' young ace, Matt Harvey (7-5, 2.99 ERA).