Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers blank punchless Mets 1-0; Dickey leaves game with injured leg
LOS ANGELES – Clayton Kershaw scattered seven hits over eight innings in his first start since appealing a five-game suspension and Russell Martin hit a late RBI double in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 1-0 victory over the punchless New York Mets on Sunday.
Former catcher Kenley Jansen got his first major league save, handing New York its fourth shutout loss on a 2-9 road trip to San Francisco, Arizona and Los Angeles. Mets starter R.A. Dickey came out in the sixth with an injured left leg.
The Mets, who have dropped to third place in the NL East, went scoreless over the final 16 innings after enduring droughts of 24 innings and 17 innings earlier on the trip. They've been held to four runs or fewer in 15 of 16 games, going 4-12 during that span.
Kershaw (10-5) stranded six runners, struck out three and issued an intentional walk. The 22-year-old left-hander was suspended last Wednesday, one day after hitting San Francisco's Aaron Rowand with a pitch. Both dugouts had been warned two innings earlier, after Matt Kemp was plunked by Tim Lincecum.
Pedro Feliciano (2-5) gave up a one-out single in the eighth to Casey Blake and retired pinch-hitter Rafael Furcal on a foul fly in the right-field corner before the left-hander got a visit from pitching coach Dan Warthen. But Martin drove the next pitch to left-center and Kershaw, the scheduled on-deck hitter, gleefully welcomed Blake to the plate.
Dickey allowed two hits over 5 2-3 innings, struck out six and walked none. The right-hander fell down making an 0-1 pitch to Martin leading off the sixth, and catcher Josh Thole went to the mound to see if he was OK. Plate umpire Dana DeMuth quickly followed before summoning manager Jerry Manuel and trainer Mike Herbst.
After a couple of warmup tosses, Dickey was allowed to continue. He retired Martin on a comebacker, then pounced off the mound to field Kershaw's dribbler and threw him out. But the knuckleballer was pulled moments later — much to his chagrin with a two-hit shutout going — and he began jawing with Herbst all the way back to the dugout long after Manuel had left the mound.
The Dodgers had only one baserunner through the first four innings. Andre Ethier doubled in the fifth and advanced on a wild pitch, but Dickey struck out Blake and retired Blake DeWitt on a grounder.
Kershaw retired 12 consecutive batters after David Wright's two-out double in the first. That string ended with back-to-back singles by Jeff Francoeur and Josh Thole in the fifth, but both runners were stranded on Dickey's comebacker.
The Mets mounted another threat in the sixth, but third baseman Blake bailed out Kershaw with a diving grab of Carlos Beltran's line drive toward the hole with Luis Castillo at second base. In the sixth, Thole wasted another Mets scoring chance when he grounded into an inning-ending double play with runners at first and second.
Dodgers pitcher Carlos Monasterios was struck on the right side of the head by a foul ball off Beltran's bat in the fourth, but a club spokesman said that Monasterios never lost consciousness. He was examined by team physician Neal ElAttrache.
The mishap occurred less than 24 hours after San Francisco Giants outfielder Eugenio Velez was struck on the left side of his head by a foul ball off the bat of teammate Pat Burrell while he was in the dugout and had to be taken to the hospital.
NOTES: Despite Manuel's two visits to the mound to check on Dickey, the seventh-inning stretch came just 1 hour, 37 minutes after the first pitch. ... Dodgers starting pitchers have a 1.20 ERA over their last nine games. ... Dickey, the first pitcher in Mets history to go 6-0 in his first seven starts with the club, is 0-3 in his last five starts despite a 1.89 ERA.