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Spring-like conditions as Dodgers win, 8-3, in 12th to sweep Mets

Showing resourcefulness that marked their hot start in April and May, they win fourth straight as role players fuel five-run 12th inning. Matt Treanor has key hit; Josh Wall wins in big league debut.

July 22, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez

NEW YORK -- This felt like a game from April or May, when the Dodgers routinely overcame handicaps, defied logic and were lifted to victory by anonymous role players.

The Dodgers completed their three-game sweep of the New York Mets and extended their winning streak to four games Sunday in one of the wildest games of a wild season, an 8-3, 12-inning victory at Citi Field.

Backup catcher Matt Treanor broke a 3-3 stalemate in the 12th with a two-out, two-run single. Luis Cruz singled in another run. Adam Kennedy doubled in two more.

The extra-inning outburst came on a day when the elements of disappointment were in place.

Starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi lasted only 41/3 innings. Closer Kenley Jansen and setup man Ronald Belisario were unavailable because they had pitched the previous two days. Former closer Javy Guerra blew a save in the ninth inning. Pitcher Clayton Kershaw had to pinch-hit when Manager Don Mattingly ran low on position players. Josh Wall made his major league debut in the 11th inning.

"With a win, it makes it worthwhile," Mattingly said.

Wall was credited with the victory and the Dodgers moved to within 11/2 games of the first-place San Francisco Giants in the National League West. The Dodgers will start a four-game series in St. Louis on Monday.

Players sensed a gradual return of the clubhouse atmosphere that existed when they had the best record in baseball.

"I think we're getting back into that 'we can do it' type mood," Treanor said. "I feel it's a little bit more comfortable right now. You're coming to the ballpark and you're not trying to figure out a way to win, you're just going out there doing it, having a good time."

Their resolve was tested Sunday.

With his two top relievers unavailable, Mattingly was working with a short bullpen. But he got 11/3 scoreless innings out of left-hander Scott Elbert. He got another 11/3 innings out of Shawn Tolleson, who gave up a run. Jamey Wright pitched a scoreless eighth.

With three outs separating them from a 3-2 victory, Mattingly turned to Guerra, who lost his job to Jansen earlier this season.

Ruben Tejada led off the ninth inning with a sharp single to center and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Jordany Valdespin. An infield hit by David Wright put men on the corners.

Guerra induced Ike Davis to hit a dribbler down the first base line. Intent on throwing out Tejada at the plate, first baseman James Loney charged in but failed to field the ball cleanly. Tejada scored and Loney settled for throwing out Davis at first.

The score was tied, 3-3.

Guerra also pitched the 10th inning, and Mattingly turned to Wall in the 11th. Wall was called up from triple A on July 14 but had yet to appear in a game.

His scoreless inning turned into a victory for Wall soon after Mets reliever Ramon Ramirez intentionally walked Andre Ethier to load the bases with two out.

Treanor pinch-hit for Wall, but before he went to the batter's box, Mattingly wanted to speak to him.

"I told him to take his time, really," Mattingly said.

The reason: Josh Lindblom needed time to warm up in the bullpen to pitch the 12th inning.

Treanor, who entered the game batting .203, did what was asked and more. He redirected a pitch by Ramirez into center field, driving in the go-ahead runs and opening the floodgates.

"Him coming off the bench and getting that hit with the bases loaded, we all were happy he was able to do that," Kennedy said. "He works so hard." Backup catchers "only get so much of the appreciation they deserve, so it was good for him to get that hit."

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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