Mark Ellis hits his second home run of the baseball game, a three-run home… (Kathy Kmonicek / Associated…)
The Dodgers needed a lift. They’d been struggling to score all season, and then before Tuesday’s game against the Mets learned that right-hander Chad Billingsley was headed for Tommy John surgery.
Power did not seem to be the cool night’s answer. Not when only two of the major league’s 30 teams had hit fewer home runs. Yet power came to the rescue, in the form of an unlikely source.
On a night when Clayton Kershaw was again less than sharp, second baseman Mark Ellis hit two home runs and had four hits to lead the Dodgers to a 7-2 victory over the Mets.
BOX SCORE: Dodgers 7, New York Mets 2
Ellis’ first home run in the fifth was the 100th of his 11-year career and tied the game at 2-2. His second homer was a three-run job in the seventh that gave the Dodgers a 5-2 lead.
The two shots immediately tied him for the team lead in home runs. He also had two singles, his hard comebacker in the third hitting Mets starter Jonathon Niese on the lower right leg, bruising it enough that he left the game. He struck out in his final at-bat to finish 4 for 5.
Ellis also drove in three runs Sunday, giving him seven RBI in two games. Only two Dodgers (Adrian Gonzalez, A.J. Ellis) have more on the entire season.
Kershaw started by retiring the first eight Mets, but then got into unlikely trouble in the third when he walked left-hander Robert Carson with two outs. Carson, who took over when Niese was knocked out of the game, was hitting for the first time in his career.
The odd loss of control would continue.
Kershaw walked Ruben Tejada. Daniel Murphy then singled in Carson, and David Wright singled in Tejada, with Murphy taking third on a fielding error by Matt Kemp.
Kershaw walked John Buck to load the bases again, before Marlon Byrd bounced out. In the inning, Kershaw threw 39 pitches.
Which is why he left after five innings with the score tied 2-2, having thrown 111 pitches. Kershaw allowed only three hits and struck out five, but walked four.
Ronald Belisario, finally looking like the reliever from last season, retired the Mets in order in the sixth and was credited with the victory when Ellis hit his second home run.
The Dodgers pushed their lead to 7-2 in the eighth when the other Ellis, A.J., doubled in two runs in the eighth. The seven runs matched their season-high.