NEW YORK -- For their four-game series at Citi Field, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced just one starting pitcher.
When you have Clayton Kershaw, who else do you need?
Curtis Granderson's line-drive single to right field leading off the seventh gave the Mets their first baserunner. Kershaw also allowed a Wilmer Flores bloop single in the seventh and a Lucas Duda single on a hard ground ball to start the eighth (but he picked Duda off first base). Kershaw struck out 11, didn't walk a batter and extended his scoreless innings streak to 29 innings.
So Kershaw is 14 2/3 innings behind teammate Zack Greinke, who faces the Mets ... well, he was supposed to start Friday night. But Greinke took an early Thursday morning flight back to Los Angeles to be with his pregnant wife, leaving the Dodgers unsure of who would start Friday -- and Saturday and Sunday.
They did have Kershaw to start Thursday, and for one day, that was all they needed.
How it happened: The Dodgers didn't do much against Mets starter Bartolo Colon, but Jimmy Rollins' third-inning home run gave Kershaw a lead. Kershaw needed just 62 pitches to get through the first six innings. At that point, the Mets hadn't really come close to a hit.
The three hits that followed were clean singles, keeping Kershaw from making history. But he did lower his ERA for the season to 2.51, and he lowered his ERA for his past 11 starts to 1.21.
What it means: With the uncertainty about the rotation for the rest of the weekend, the Dodgers needed a win from Kershaw. He gave them that, and almost gave them a night to remember. The Dodgers are 4-3 on a 10-game road trip that will end with three more games against the Mets.
The win extended the Dodgers' division lead to three games over the idle San Francisco Giants.
Notable: Rollins' home run was his 31st career homer against the Mets. The only two active players with more are Rollins' two former Philadelphia Phillies teammates, Ryan Howard (42) and Chase Utley (35). ... Kershaw has never lost to the Mets, with a 6-0 record and 1.34 ERA in nine career starts. ... Besides the Rollins home run, the Dodgers didn't advance a runner past first base in eight innings against Colon.
Up next: Friday was supposed to be the night Greinke looked to extend his 43 2/3-inning scoreless inning streak, but he returned home to L.A. to be with his wife, Emily, for the birth of the couple's first child. Manager Don Mattingly said he would wait until after Thursday night's game to decide on a Friday starter. Left-hander Jonathon Niese (5-8, 3.36) starts for the Mets, with first pitch set for 7:10 p.m. ET. Update: The Dodgers announced that left-hander Ian Thomas (0-1, 5.23) will start in Greinke's place Friday.