|N.Y. Mets (21-19)||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||7||0|
|L.A. Dodgers (29-13) «||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||x||2||9||0|
LOS ANGELES -- Russell Martin hasn't provided the Los Angeles Dodgers with nearly as much offense as they've become accustomed to from their two-time All-Star catcher, and the clutch hits have been few and far between.
But Wednesday night, Martin came through, delivering a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning and the Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of the New York Mets with a 2-1 victory.
"If I was going to pick one time to get a hit, it would be then," said Martin, who was hitless in his previous 11 at-bats during the series. "I picked the right time, and it worked out."
Orlando Hudson singled with one out against J.J. Putz (1-3), who walked Andre Ethier before Martin lined the right-hander's 1-0 pitch to left field for his 16th RBI of the season. The hit helped the defending NL West champions improve their major league-best record to 29-13 and extend their division lead on San Francisco to 8½ games.
The Dodgers' 17-3 start at home tied a modern major league record for 20 games, last accomplished by the 1998 Yankees, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Joe Torre also managed that Yankees team.
The Mets, who came into Chavez Ravine on Monday with a half-game lead on Philadelphia in the NL East, now trail the Phillies by a full game after their fourth loss in a row. The road trip began with three consecutive victories against the Giants.
"We knew at the start of this trip that it would be a tough one and would be a big test for us," third baseman David Wright said. "We started out good, but then we struggled. We played poorly and the Dodgers played great. But we can't feel sorry for ourselves."
The Mets, 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and 3-for-27 overall in the series, squandered an opportunity to take the lead in the top of the eighth after putting runners at second and third with one out.
"That's kind of what we've been dealing with this whole series -- not getting the big hit," manager Jerry Manuel said. "We had a good shot at it right there -- second and third, infield in, but we didn't get it done. In the position we're in now, with the pieces that we have now, it's going to be challenging to put a lot of runs on the board. So when we get opportunities, we really have to take advantage of them."
Mets shortstop Jose Reyes was replaced by Ramon Martinez in the bottom of the third inning after aggravating a troublesome right calf that forced him to miss five games. The Mets' all-time stolen base leader tried to leg out a grounder deep in the hole on the right side of the infield, but was thrown out by second baseman Hudson, who made a one-hop throw from the outfield grass.
"I think it happened in that at-bat," Manuel said. "I saw some grimacing during the AB. Then once he hit the ball and put it in play, he felt some pain and discomfort. It was obvious that he was struggling with it. How much damage there is, we don't know."
Murphy, who had played in left field the first 1½ months this season, started at first base for the first time in his big league career -- using Carlos Delgado's glove. Delgado is expected to be sidelined until at least late July after undergoing hip surgery on Tuesday.
With left-hander Eric Stults missing his turn in the rotation because of a sprained thumb on his pitching hand, Jeff Weaver made his third start of the season. He allowed a run and four hits over five innings while stranding a runner at third base in each of the first two. Stults is expected to make his next start on Monday afternoon at Colorado.
Livan Hernandez pitched seven innings for the Mets, allowing a run and seven hits.
|Orlando Hudson hustles to beat the throw at the plate and slides in for the winning run. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|New York Mets|
|Jose Reyes, SS||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.279|
|Ramon Martinez, SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.000|
|Luis Castillo, 2B||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.279|
|Carlos Beltran, CF||3||0||2||1||1||0||0||.370|
|David Wright, 3B||2||0||1||0||2||0||0||.362|
|Daniel Murphy, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||6||.263|
|Ryan Church, RF||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.276|
|a- Fernando Tatis, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.282|
|J.J. Putz, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ramon Castro, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.239|
|Angel Pagan, LF-RF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.357|
|Livan Hernandez, P||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.143|
|Jeremy Reed, LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.333|
|a-grounded out for Church in the 8th|
|2B - Carlos Beltran 2 (13, Weaver, Weaver), Ryan Church (7, Weaver)|
|RBI - Carlos Beltran (29)|
|SB - Carlos Beltran (7, 3rd base off Weaver/Martin), Angel Pagan (1, 2nd base off Broxton/Martin)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Outfield Assists - Jeremy Reed 1|
|DP - Murphy|
|New York Mets|
|J.J. Putz (L,1-3)||1||2||1||1||2||2||0||3.91|
|IBB - Loney by J.J. Putz|
|Pitches-Strikes - Livan Hernandez 93-62, J.J. Putz 28-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Livan Hernandez 7-11|
|Batters Faced - Livan Hernandez 28, J.J. Putz 6|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Juan Pierre, LF||4||1||2||0||0||1||4||.405|
|Rafael Furcal, SS||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.239|
|Orlando Hudson, 2B||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.345|
|Andre Ethier, RF||2||0||0||1||1||0||1||.253|
|Russell Martin, C||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.263|
|James Loney, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.274|
|Xavier Paul, CF||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.214|
|Ronald Belisario, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brent Leach, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Mark Loretta, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.350|
|Jonathan Broxton, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Casey Blake, 3B||2||0||1||0||1||0||0||.287|
|Jeff Weaver, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.143|
|b- Randy Wolf, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.100|
|Ramon Troncoso, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Matt Kemp, PH-CF||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.281|
|a-struck out for Leach in the 8th|
|b-grounded out for Weaver in the 5th|
|c-singled for Troncoso in the 7th|
|2B - Orlando Hudson (15, Hernandez)|
|SF - Andre Ethier (3)|
|RBI - Andre Ethier (30), Russell Martin (16)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Furcal-Loney|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Brent Leach (W,1-0)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||6.23|
|Jonathan Broxton (S,11)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1.29|
|WP - Ramon Troncoso (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Weaver 69-46, Ramon Troncoso 28-20, Ronald Belisario 10-2, Brent Leach 8-5, Jonathan Broxton 15-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Weaver 7-6, Ramon Troncoso 3-1, Brent Leach 2-0, Jonathan Broxton 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Jeff Weaver 20, Ramon Troncoso 8, Ronald Belisario 3, Brent Leach 2, Jonathan Broxton 4|
|Attendance - 50761|
|Game Time - 2:56|
|Temperature - 78|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Dale Scott, Third Base - Jacob Uhlenhopp|