Bellinger’s HRs help Dodgers overcome Kershaw’s skaky start
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took a philosophical route when asked to sum up his rocky outing.
“There’s two ways you can go: You can either try to rethink everything or you can just say ‘Screw it,’ and come back tomorrow and act like it didn’t happen,” Kershaw said. “So I‘m going to go with the latter for now, I think.”
Cody Bellinger hit two home runs and had four RBIs, sparking the Dodgers to a 10-6 victory over the New York Mets on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
Bellinger became the fastest player to reach 21 home runs in major league history, doing so in 51 games and breaking the mark of 20 homers in the same number of games by New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (2015-16) and Boston Braves outfielder Wally Berger (1930).
“Guy was at second base, so I was just trying to get an RBI. Luckily, it went out of there,” Bellinger said of his first-inning homer off Mets starter Zack Wheeler, who also yielded another one in the second. “The second one, I think it was 3-2, so I was trying to protect. I think it was inside, so I was just trying to protect.”
Justin Turner, who also drove in four runs and tied a career high with four hits, and Chris Taylor added home runs for the Dodgers (45-26), who have won four in a row and 10 of their past 11.
Jose Reyes homered twice and rookie Gavin Cecchini hit his first major league home run for the Mets (31-38). Jay Bruce had a solo homer.
Kershaw (10-2) served up all four home runs, a career high for him. The 17 home runs Kershaw has given up this season is a career worst, topping the 16 he allowed in 2012. Kershaw struck out 10 and walked one but allowed six runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings against the Mets.
“Got a lot of guys swinging the bats well that picked me up today,” said Kershaw, who tied Kansas City Royals left-hander Jason Vargas for the most wins in the majors.
Mets starter Zack Wheeler (3-5) was tagged for seven runs and eight hits in two innings. It was the second worst outing for Wheeler, coming on the heels of Tuesday’s 14-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs when he gave up a career-worst eight runs in 1 2/3 innings.
“Well, when you’ve got that kind of stuff and you’re getting hit like he’s getting hit, there’s something,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “We’ve got to get to the bottom of it.”
Wheeler said his command failed him again.
“It’s really frustrating,” Wheeler said. “But it all starts with me.”
Turner, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games, had an RBI single in the sixth to increase the Dodgers’ lead to 8-4.
However, Reyes took Kershaw deep again in the seventh with a two-run homer to close the gap to 8-6.
But Taylor’s solo home run in the bottom of the inning and a run-scoring single by Chase Utley put the Dodgers up 10-6.
Bellinger’s three-run blast highlighted a four-run surge by the Dodgers in the first. Turner had an RBI single in the inning for a 4-0 edge.
In the second, Turner smacked a two-run shot to left for a 6-0 advantage. Bellinger followed with his second homer, a solo shot to right center to make it 7-0.
Reyes launched his fifth home run of the season in the third, jumping on Kershaw’s first pitch of the inning and hitting it out to left to cut the Dodgers’ lead to six runs.
Bruce added a solo shot in the fourth to slice the margin to 7-2. It was his 19th home run this season.
Cecchini delivered a two-run shot in the fifth to pull the Mets within 7-4.
NOTES: The Dodgers recognized franchise legends Don Newcombe, Maury Wills and Frank Robinson during its African American Heritage Night festivities. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and SS Corey Seager were honored with the Legacy Award, presented by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to players, managers and executives in the major leagues for on- and off-the-field achievements. ... Mets SS Jose Reyes passed Keith Hernandez for ninth on the franchise RBI leaders with 469. ... The Dodgers reinstated RHP Sergio Romo (sprained left ankle) from the 10-day disabled list and optioned RHP Josh Fields to Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... Mets RHP Robert Gsellman (5-4, 5.50 ERA) will oppose Dodgers RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-3, 3.14) in the second game of the four-game series on Tuesday.