Rookie Conforto, newcomer Johnson help Mets rout Dodgers
NEW YORK (AP) A new-look lineup was a real big hit with the New York Mets.
Heralded prospect Michael Conforto went 4 for 4 for his first big league hits and Kelly Johnson homered into the upper deck in his Mets’ debut, powering New York past the Los Angeles Dodgers 15-2 Saturday night.
Slumping at the plate most of the season, the Mets erupted for 21 hits, their most since 2010.
”This is one of those nights where everything went right for us,” manager Terry Collins said. ”You’re going to have them once in a while and you need them.”
Lucas Duda homered twice for the Mets in their highest-scoring game since April 2013, and their biggest run total ever against the Dodgers.
Johnson got two hits and Juan Uribe had one, a day after the Mets acquired them in a trade with Atlanta.
A night after going hitless in his major league debut, Conforto broke loose.
”This was more about what I was dreaming about,” the outfielder said. ”I couldn’t have pictured it any better tonight. A lot of firsts tonight.”
Conforto doubled twice, walked and scored four runs. Kirk Nieuwenhuis got four hits and drove in four runs and Daniel Murphy homered with three RBIs.
Matt Harvey (9-7) doubled, singled and drove in two runs. He pitched seven innings as the Mets ended a three-game losing streak.
Harvey also became the first pitcher in Mets history to record three straight two-RBI games.
”For us, today was a big win and obviously everybody contributed,” Harvey said. ”I think that was a huge team win for us.”
Zach Lee (0-1) was tagged in his major league debut, allowing four runs in the first inning. He gave up seven runs and 11 hits in 4 2-3 innings after being pressed into starting duty.
”Babe Ruth could have come and tried to get those boys out, but it wasn’t going to happen, not tonight,” Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. ”They didn’t really miss pitches, they were barreled, loud, good thing for us it was only one loss.”
Lee pitched while the Dodgers reshuffled their rotation. All-Star ace Zack Greinke was scheduled to pitch Friday night, but returned to Los Angeles to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.
On Sunday, Greinke starts with a shutout streak of 43 2-3 innings.
Duda homered twice in a game for the third time this season. Ruben Tejada added three hits.
Rookie Joc Pederson hit his 21st home run for the Dodgers and Rollins homered for the third straight day against the Mets.
Conforto got up with the bases loaded in the first inning. He hit a grounder off Lee’s glove and beat the throw to first for an RBI single – after crossing the bag, he glanced back to verify that first base umpire Manny Gonzalez had called him safe, and appeared to smile after confirming so.
Mets: LHP Jonathon Niese was put on the paternity list after the birth of son Tatum Jeffery. RHP Logan Verrett was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas. SS Wilmer Flores (rest) was given the day off. … Rehabbing C Travis d’Arnaud (elbow) played for Double-A Binghamton, catching five innings, going 1 for 3.
Mets: Jacob deGrom (10-6, 2.18 ERA) will start the series finale. He is 7-2 with a 1.50 ERA over his last 11 starts. He is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in two career starts against Los Angeles.
Conforto was the first Mets player in franchise history with a four-hit performance within his first two career games. He is also the fifth player in the last 100 years to score four or more runs in one of his first two major league games.