Mark Ellis showed surprising power Tuesday as the veteran carried the Los Angeles Dodgers past the New York Mets, 7-2, in the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field.
Ellis went 4-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI, including a tie-breaking three-run blast in the seventh inning that sent the Dodgers to their second straight win on the heels of a six-game slide.
"It felt good to get hits when we needed them," Ellis said.
A.J. Ellis added a two-run double and Justin Sellers went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI for Los Angeles, which saw ace Clayton Kershaw labor through five innings and allow two runs on three hits and four walks.
Ronald Belisario (1-2) earned the win for a Dodgers bullpen that allowed one hit over four scoreless innings.
Daniel Murphy had half of New York's four hits and drove in a run as the club fell for the fifth time in seven games. The Mets were forced to use five relievers after starter Jon Niese took a comebacker off his leg in the third inning and was forced to exit.
"He's fine. He's getting better as the night goes on, so he'll be OK," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Niese.
Mark Ellis, whose one-hopper back to the mound caused Niese's early exit, hit a solo shot off Robert Carson in the fifth to tie the game at 2-2.
It was the 100th homer of his career, and he added to that total in the seventh when he turned on 2-2 offering from Brandon Lyon (1-1) and cleared the wall down the right-field line. Sellers singled and Juan Uribe walked ahead of the two-out blast.
A.J. Ellis doubled in a pair in the eighth to account for the final margin.
Niese walked the bases loaded in the second and Sellers drove in Adrian Gonzalez with the game's first run on a looping base hit to right.
A pair of two-out, RBI singles from Murphy and David Wright put the Mets on top in the third.
Mark Ellis has three career multi-home run games, the last coming on June 17, 2008 ... Niese, who is being listed as day-to-day with a contusion on his right leg, was charged with one run on three hits and three walks in 2 1/3 innings ... Mets outfielder Juan Lagares, recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas before the game, recorded his first career hit in the seventh inning.