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Without Reyes, Mets Find Way To Win Fourth Straight

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A.J. Ellis, Francisco Rodriguez

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – Ruben Tejada doubled home two runs while
filling in again for injured shortstop Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran
doubled twice and scored twice, and the New York Mets beat the Los
Angeles Dodgers 5-3 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight
victory.

Jonathon Niese (8-7) allowed three runs and five hits over seven
innings, improving to 8-4 over his last 14 starts. The left-hander
has won a career-best four straight outings on the road.

Bobby Parnell pitched a perfect eighth and Francisco Rodriguez
got three outs for his 22nd save in 25 chances, putting the
four-time All-Star within 10 of 300.

Hiroki Kuroda (6-10) gave up four runs and eight hits over six
innings for Los Angeles, dropping to 1-5 with a 5.75 ERA in seven
career starts against the Mets. It was the 36-year-old
right-hander’s 100th major league start after 11 seasons with
Hiroshima of the Japanese Central League.

New York scored three times in the sixth to take a 4-1 lead.
Beltran led off with his second double, advanced to third on a
throwing error by left fielder Eugenio Velez after he caught Daniel
Murphy’s fly ball, and scored when Kuroda bounced a pitch in the
dirt off A.J. Ellis’ chest protector. Lucas Duda and John Thole
followed with two-out singles, and Tejada drove both of them in
with a double to right-center after Kuroda was visited by pitching
coach Rick Honeycutt.

The Dodgers responded with two runs in the bottom half,
capitalizing on a blown call by first base umpire Greg Gibson.
Andre Ethier hit an opposite-field RBI single through the left side
and Matt Kemp followed with what appeared to be a tailor-made
double-play grounder to shortstop. But Gibson ruled Kemp beat the
relay, bringing Mets manager Terry Collins out of the dugout for a
brief argument.

Television replays showed Gibson got it wrong. Jamey Carroll
took third on the fielder’s choice grounder and scored on Juan
Uribe’s sacrifice fly _ which would have been the third out.

The Mets tacked on another run in the ninth on Justin Turner’s
two-out RBI single. They have scored 166 runs with two out, second
in the majors to Boston’s 170.

Beltran led off the Mets’ fourth with a double and scored the
game’s first run on Duda’s two-out double inside first base, but
the Dodgers tied it in the bottom half.

Duda fielded Carroll’s leadoff grounder wide of first base, but
had no play when Niese was late covering the bag. Ethier grounded
into a fielder’s choice, advanced to third on Kemp’s bloop single
and scored on a groundout by Uribe.

Beltran misplayed Carroll’s single down the line in the first
inning, and Carroll ended up at second after initially being held
up by coach Davey Lopes. That ended a 179-game errorless streak by
Beltran, a three-time Gold Glove winner whose previous error also
came at Dodger Stadium on May 5, 2009.

NOTES: The Mets are three games over .500 for the first time
July 23, 2010. … The Dodgers are 19-27 at Chavez Ravine, with
four games left on a homestand that leads into the All-Star break.
It will be the first time they’ve had a losing record at home at
the break since 1999 (22-23). … Thursday’s series finale will
match Clayton Kershaw against Dillon Gee, who teamed up with
relievers Mike O’Connor and Tim Byrdak to end Ethier’s 30-game
hitting streak on May 7 at New York. … The Mets are 26-21 since
3B David Wright was sidelined because of a stress fracture in his
lower back, and 4-0 since Reyes strained his left hamstring. …
Niese and Kuroda faced each other on May 6 at New York, with the
Mets beating Kuroda 6-3. Niese ended up with a no-decision.

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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