Dodgers win in 12 innings to finish off sweep of Mets

Dave Buscema, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- After 12 innings, 13 combined pitchers, two controversial calls at first base and countless wasted opportunities late in the game, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally outlasted the New York Mets on Sunday at Citi Field.
Los Angeles scored five in the top of the 12th after losing a one-run lead in the ninth to finish off a three-game sweep with an 8-3 victory that lasted four hours and 43 minutes.
The Dodgers left town with their label as surprising contenders intact while leaving the Mets' such claim in tatters. Los Angeles won its fourth straight, while the Mets dropped their ninth game in their last 10 and fell under .500 for the first time all season.
Pinch hitter Matt Treanor, the last position player on the Dodgers' bench, smacked a two-run single to spark L.A.'s outburst in the 12th.
He was followed by Luis Cruz, who singled in a run, and Adam Kennedy, who doubled in two.
"I'm done making decisions," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said with a smile, when asked where to start in describing the game. "Satisfying the guys kind of hung in there ... you come out with a win, it makes it worthwhile."
The 12th inning included the second in a pair of questionable calls by first base umpire Mike DiMuro. DiMuro is the ump who made the infamous out call on New York Yankees Dewayne Wise's phantom catch last month, when Wise did not have the ball, which landed in the stands in foul territory.
Mets manager Terry Collins briefly argued the call, when Dodgers outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. was called safe on a play in which replays indicated the throw beat him. But after the game Collins dismissed the call, pointing out the Mets "had opportunities" they wasted.
Josh Wall earned the victory in his major-league debut with a scoreless 11th inning. He was pressed into duty as the innings added up and the number of relievers available nearly ran out.
"Pretty cool," said Wall, who admitted to being "a little nervous," but said warming up a couple of times in the past week while with the Dodgers helped calm him.
Juan Rivera hit a two-run homer early for the Dodgers. Daniel Murphy tied his career-high with four hits for the Mets, the second time he accomplished the feat in the past three games. He went 9-for-11 in the series. David Wright had three hits.
The Mets attempted to remain positive amid their sudden freefall.
"Nobody's concerned," said Murphy, who admitted there was frustration. "Concern sounds negative."
Said Wright: "I don't think we're playing as poorly as the record indicates, but this is when we need to get things turned around and moving in the direction we need it to."
Ramon Ramirez (2-2) allowed all five runs in the 12th after escaping a jam in the 11th.
James Loney led off the 12th with a single and Gwynn followed with a bunt. DiMuro called Gwynn safe at first, though replays indicated he was out.
After Mark Ellis popped up his bunt attempt, Matt Kemp grounded into a fielder's choice for the second out.
With the pitcher's spot on deck, the Mets intentionally walked Andre Ethier, but Treanor smacked his two-run single to center and the Dodgers soon busted the game open.
"Not trying to do too much," Treanor, who had snapped a 0-for-23 string Saturday, said of his approach. "That's been a bit of a habit of mine lately. I think we're getting back into that type of 'We can do it' mode."
The Mets rallied to tie the score in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra and got the potential winning run to second that inning and in the 10th, but Guerra wiggled out of further trouble.
Mattingly indicated before the game that closer Kenley Jansen would not be available after racking up 39 pitches while saving the previous two games. And the Dodgers had already gone through three other relievers when Guerra started the ninth. He also was trying to avoid using Ronald Belisario and Josh Lindblom, who each had pitched often lately.
So no one warmed up when Guerra allowed the tying run to come home in the ninth on a RBI groundout by Ike Davis or in the 10th when Kirk Nieuwenhuis led off with a double.
Guerra escaped in the 10th after walking Scott Hairston, when Mike Nickeas' bunt attempt ended up in a force out at third. It nearly became a double play, but Nickeas just beat the throw, as backed by replays, though Mattingly argued briefly.
Ruben Tejada then grounded into a 5-4-3 inning-ending double play.
The Dodgers threatened in the 11th, when Ethier led off with a walk against Ramirez. He was bunted to second by pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who was used as a pinch hitter for Guerra with the Dodgers' bench down to Kennedy and Treanor.
But Ramirez struck out Cruz looking and intentionally walked Kennedy, who pinch hit for Uribe, before getting A.J. Ellis on a pop up to second.
Trailing 3-2, the Mets tied the score in the bottom of the ninth.
Tejada led off with a single and was bunted to second by Jordany Valdespin, before Wright singled up the middle. Ellis' diving play at second saved a run for the moment as Tejada was forced to hold up at third.
Davis then hit a weak grounder down the first base line, which was bobbled by first baseman Loney. Loney recovered and threw to first, but Tejada scored the tying run while Davis was called out, though replays indicated Davis had beat the throw.
Murphy was intentionally walked and Lucas Duda grounded out to second to end the ninth with the score, 3-3.
Bobby Parnell pitched a scoreless ninth and 10th for the Mets after Tim Byrdak and Jon Rauch kept the Dodgers scoreless in the eighth after they got back-to-back singles to chase starter Jon Niese.
Dodgers starter Nathan Eovaldi labored through 4 1/3 innings for the Dodgers, throwing 96 pitches in giving up one run on seven hits while walking one and striking out seven.
Niese gave the Mets seven innings of three-run ball after their previous two starters were knocked out after three. The lefty gave up eight hits while striking out three and not allowing a walk.
NOTES: Mets right-hander Miguel Batista was designated for assignment Sunday. He was replaced on the roster by reliever Elgin Ramirez, who was called up from Class AAA Buffalo. ... Top Mets pitching prospect Matt Harvey will be activated Tuesday and start Thursday's game in his major league debut, the Mets announced after the game. ... Jeremy Hefner will start Wednesday's game. ... Valdespin started in left field against the righty Eovaldi in place of slumping right-handed hitter Jason Bay. ... Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis returned to the lineup after missing two games with inflammation in his left knee. ... Right-hander Chad Billingsley (right elbow inflammation) will be activated off the disabled list Monday, Mattingly said. Mattingly said he will be "cautious" with the starter, but will not keep him on a pitch count.

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