Recap: Clayton Kershaw Strong In Return But Dodgers Fall To Mets

Clayton Kershaw made his return to the rotation after a nearly month-long stint on the injured list, but despite his strong start, it wasn’t enough for the Los Angeles Dodgers to overcome the New York Mets, who won 5-3 in the series finale.

The Mets took an early lead against Kershaw because he could not find his command to start the game. He gave up a single and walked three hitters in his first inning of work, including one with the bases loaded that put the Mets up 1-0, but he still limited New York to just the one run in the inning.

Kershaw’s bases-loaded walk was the first he has given up since Aug. 7, 2015 against the Pittsburgh Pirates and it was the first time he’s allowed three walks in an inning since April 23, 2013, which also came at Citi Field.

The Dodgers answered the in the top of the second inning started by Justin Turner hitting a one-out double down the left field line. That was followed by a single from Gavin Lux and a walk from Trayce Thompson to load the bases.

Chris Taylor, who has struggled at the plate recently, put the Dodgers up 2-1 with a single to right field that drove in Turner and Lux. Thompson was thrown out at home after what appeared to be some miscommunication between him and third base coach Dino Ebel.

Following Kershaw’s shaky 25-pitch first inning, he settled down and threw four consecutive scoreless innings, which included a run of striking out six batters in eight plate appearances. Beginning with the final out of the first inning, the future Hall of Famer retired 13 consecutive batters before his night came to an end.

He finished his outing throwing 74 pitches over five innings, giving up just one run on one hit while striking out six and walking three.

Chris Martin took over for Kershaw in the sixth inning and promptly allowed an infield single to Starling Marte with some help from a lackadaisical attempt to make the play by Lux.

Francisco Lindor then roped a double into right-center field to tie the game. Lindor followed that with a steal of third base and came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Darin Ruf, putting the Mets up 3-2.

The Mets added to their lead in the seventh inning after James McCann hit a two-out double off Caleb Ferguson. The left-handed reliever followed by getting Brandon Nimmo to hit a short fly ball to right field, but the Dodgers allowed it to drop due to defensive miscommunication between Lux and Mookie Betts.

Marte then followed with a double to drive in Nimmo, which gave the Mets a 5-2 lead.

Edwin Díaz was called on to pitch the eighth inning against the heart of the Dodgers order, which surprisingly led to their best offensive opportunities of the game.

Díaz walked Freddie Freeman to open the inning and followed by hitting Will Smith to bring the tying run to the plate. Max Muncy just missed hitting a game-tying homer, which was immediately followed by Justin Turner just missing a game-tying home run of his own.

Although both balls died at the warning track, they did allow Freeman to come around and score to cut the Mets’ lead to two runs. The inning then ended when Díaz threw a 102.8 mph fastball by Lux for a strikeout.

Adam Ottavino pitched the final three outs of the game to record the save for the Mets and clinch the series victory.

Dodgers made multiple roster moves prior to the game

In addition to activating Kershaw off the 15-day injured list, the Dodgers recalled Miguel Vargas from Triple-A Oklahoma City ahead of the game.

Thursday is the first day of expanded rosters, which required the Dodgers to add a pitcher and position player to the club.

The Dodgers also placed Brusdar Graterol on the 15-day IL due to right elbow inflammation and recalled Phil Bickford from Oklahoma City. Graterol’s IL stint was backdated to Wednesday, Aug. 31.

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