Matt Magill pitched well enough to win, but the bullpen let him down.
Kershaw Struggles, But Bats Come Alive in Win
The ball Ellis hit that really hurt the Mets came in the third when his comebacker struck Niese in the lower right leg. Niese hopped toward the clubhouse with a bruise, and the Mets said he's day to day. Los Angeles won despite an uneven outing by ace Clayton Kershaw. With Dodgers great Sandy Koufax watching at Citi Field, Kershaw walked four and struck out five in five innings.
Hit hard in his previous start by San Diego, Kershaw limited the damage this time to two runs and three hits on a night with temperatures in the low 50s. The 2011 NL Cy Young Award winner remained unbeaten in seven starts against the Mets. Ronald Belisario (1-2) pitched one inning for the win. Brandon Lyon (1-1) gave up Ellis' go-ahead homer.
The Dodgers won several hours after they announced right-hander Chad Billingsley would have Tommy John surgery this week and miss the rest of the season, the latest setback for their rotation. The injury news didn't sound quite so dire for Niese. Hit by the grounder, Niese hopped toward home plate looking for the ball as Ellis reached on an infield single. The Mets' lefty sat down in the dirt along the first base line and grimaced as manager Terry Collins and a trainer looked at him. Niese was helped to his feet after a minute or so and exited. Ellis' solo homer in the fifth made it 2-all and finished reliever Rob Carson.
Justin Sellers hit an RBI single in the second that put the Dodgers ahead. Niese escaped a bases-loaded jam when Kershaw grounded into a double play. The Mets scored twice in the third after Kershaw retired the first two batters. Carson, who took over for Niese, walked in his first big league plate appearance and set up RBI singles by Daniel Murphy and David Wright. A.J. Ellis hit a two-run double in the Dodgers' eighth.
NOTES: Ellis had his third multihomer game, and first since 2008 with Oakland. He has 13 four-hit games. ... Kershaw has walked at least four in two straight starts for the first time since April 2011. ... Sellers matched a career best with three hits. ... Mets SS Ruben Tejada and 2B Murphy each had nifty plays. ... Mets RHP Matt Harvey (4-0, 0.93 ERA) starts Wednesday night vs. LHP Ted Lilly, who will make his season debut after shoulder surgery. ... RHP Shaun Marcum is scheduled for his Mets debut Saturday against Philadelphia. On the disabled list with a sore neck and biceps, he pitched five shutout innings in an extended spring training game Monday. Collins said Marcum felt fine the day after. ... Mets CF Juan Lagares made his big league debut during a double switch in the fifth inning. Promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas earlier in the day, he flied out to the warning track against Kershaw in his first at-bat. Lagares singled his next time up.
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