The Los Angeles Dodgers teed off when they faced Jacob deGrom in his second career start.
They may not be so homer happy this time even though deGrom is returning from a stint on the disabled list.
The impressive New York Mets rookie makes his first start in 16 days Saturday night opposite Zack Greinke when this three-game series at Dodger Stadium continues.
DeGrom (6-5, 2.87 ERA) proclaimed that he is ready to go after facing hitters in a bullpen session Tuesday. He said he used his complete repertoire and will pitch for the first time since Aug. 7 as he was out due to rotator cuff tendinitis.
"There was definitely more adrenaline than when I throw just in a regular bullpen," DeGrom told MLB’s official website. "When somebody steps in there, the competitiveness kind of takes over, so it was nice to throw to hitters."
The right-hander was treated rudely by Los Angeles (73-57) on May 21 when he suffered a 4-3 loss by allowing solo home runs to Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez over six innings.
That kind of outing seems unlikely now with Ramirez on the DL and Puig and Gonzalez in 4-for-24 slumps.
DeGrom has allowed three homers in 87 1-3 innings since that game, including one in his last 69 1-3. He’s 5-0 with a 1.55 ERA in his past six starts.
The Dodgers maintained their 3 1/2-game lead over San Francisco in the NL West by winning 6-2 on Friday and now try to avoid a fourth straight defeat with Greinke (12-8, 2.75) on the mound.
Greinke is pitching two days later than originally anticipated due to elbow discomfort. He had no issues in a bullpen session Thursday.
"I feel like Zack’s going to be fine on Saturday," manager Don Mattingly said. "I don’t feel like it’s going to turn into long range."
The right-hander hasn’t been on a team that has dropped four of his starts in a row since 2010. He is 0-2 with a 3.50 ERA in his last three as Los Angeles has provided him three runs of support.
Greinke’s fifth career start over 10 years ago came against the Mets, a 5-2 loss. He has faced New York twice since then, going 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA.
Curtis Granderson is 8 for 41 with 10 strikeouts against Greinke.
Granderson led off Friday with a homer as the Mets (60-69) lost for the seventh time in 10 games and 12th time in 14 meetings with the Dodgers. New York tied a season high with four errors.
”We had a bad night. It happens,” manager Terry Collins said. ”When you look up (after eight innings) and you have as many errors as you’ve got hits, that’s not a good feeling."
The Mets are last in the majors since the All-Star break in runs per game (3.1), batting average (.212) and slugging percentage (.310). Granderson is hitting .184 in that span.
Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis is baseball’s worst qualifying hitter since the All-Star break at .140, but he had an RBI double Friday.