NEW YORK (AP)—Once they got a break, the Los Angeles Dodgers broke loose.
After prized prospect Clayton Kershaw was chased in the fourth inning of his second major league start, Chan Ho Park (2-1) shut down the Mets to give manager Joe Torre a victory in his return to New York.
The Dodgers, beaten in the series opener Thursday, woke up from their offensive slumber by battering reliever Aaron Heilman (0-2) in a five-run eighth. They snapped a four-game skid and won for only the second time in eight tries.
Los Angeles scored just 12 runs in its previous seven games.
“Everybody did his part in that inning. We’ve got to do it more often. It was a good win,” Martin said. “Hopefully, it gets us back on track.”
Luis Castillo hit a two-run homer for the Mets, who had won three straight after a 1-7 stretch. The second baseman left in the seventh with a strained left hip flexor after turning a difficult double play. He was replaced by Damion Easley and said he hopes to play Saturday.
With the Dodgers trailing 5-4, speedy Juan Pierre led off the eighth with a slow grounder to shortstop. He was called safe at first by umpire Tim Welke, though replays showed Jose Reyes’ throw was in time.
“I watched the replay here three times. I now know why I called him safe,” Welke said. “In my judgment, his heel was on the bag when (Carlos) Delgado caught the ball. I know his toe is up and it makes it look like he hadn’t reached the bag. But his heel, in my judgment, had hit the bag.”
Torre couldn’t see the play from his angle, but he’ll take it.
“I can tell you I never got those calls as a runner,” he said. “As slow as I was, the call was ‘out’ and the umpires never got second-guessed.”
Loney scored on Scott Schoeneweis’ wild pitch, and Blake DeWitt capped the rally with a run-scoring single.
“I thought I threw the ball pretty well. But I’ve got to do a better job out there, keep the ball down and get them to hit it at people,” Heilman said.
It’s a been a tough month for umpires, who have blown a string of home run calls—leading to cries for instant replay in baseball. One of those missed calls was by Welke, a crew chief who denied Alex Rodriguez a homer at Yankee Stadium last week even though his drive cleared the fence. A-Rod wound up with a double.
“He just missed the call. What are you going to do?” Mets manager Willie Randolph said, referring to the eighth inning Friday night. “Bad break there, but I thought he was clearly out.”
Heilman gave up hits to all four batters he faced, allowing four runs on 13 pitches. The right-hander, who had pitched well lately after a poor start this season, was booed loudly by the crowd of 52,176—as was Randolph when he returned to the dugout following the pitching change.
“Nothing wrong with Aaron,” Randolph said. “I don’t think this is going to set Aaron back.”
Torre, a big winner during 12 seasons guiding the Yankees, shuffled his lineup in an attempt to generate some offense and the Dodgers jumped on John Maine for three runs in the first inning.
Pierre drew a four-pitch walk and stole second. With two outs, Loney and Martin hit consecutive RBI doubles before Andre Ethier added a run-scoring single.
The Mets answered with Castillo’s shot in the bottom half. It was the third homer this season (all in the first inning) for the slap-hitting Castillo—and second in three nights.
Kershaw walked three straight batters in the third, and Carlos Beltran’s sacrifice fly tied it.
Martin’s leadoff homer in the fourth put Los Angeles back in front, but the Mets scratched out single runs in the fourth and seventh to go up 5-4.
Dodgers SS Rafael Furcal, on the disabled list retroactive to May 6 with a sore lower back, was examined in Los Angeles by Dr. Robert Watkins, a back specialist. There is no timetable for Furcal’s return. “We’re not close yet,” Torre said. … Reyes extended his hitting streak to 15 games with an infield single in the first. He has reached base safely in 30 straight games, the longest run from the leadoff spot in team history. … New York RF Ryan Church missed his 10th consecutive start with a concussion. He took swings during batting practice, shagged flies and did some running. He said he’d like to play Saturday, but it’s unclear when the Mets might put him back in the lineup. … Martin’s four hits matched a career high.