Trayce Thompson’s pinch-hit, walk-off HR lifts Dodgers over Mets
LOS ANGELES — Trayce Thompson has a major league highlight of his own to go with all the ones created by his brother, Klay Thompson of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
The outfielder connected for a pinch-hit, solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets on Tuesday night.
Thompson recently shaved his head in a nod to superstition.
"It’s working, so probably cut it again tomorrow," he said, smiling.
Thompson fought back from an 0-2 count against Hansel Robles (0-2) to get to 2-2 before homering into the left-field pavilion, snapping the Dodgers’ three-game skid against the Mets.
"I am very confident in my fastball. I tried to get him confused but he adjusted and came through," Robles said through a translator. "I was trying to locate the pitch outside but it sailed up."
It was Thompson’s first career game-ending hit and pinch-hit homer.
"It’s definitely a crazy feeling. It happened so fast," said Thompson, drenched by his teammates during a postgame interview on the field.
Thompson’s two-run drive accounted for the team’s only runs in a 4-2 loss in the series opener Monday night, when country music star Keith Urban mispronounced his name as Tracy while announcing the lineups.
"Trayce is a worker," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "The game honors you, so when you work hard good things happen to you. For him to get on that fastball is pretty special."
Thompson’s roommates, shortstop Corey Seager and starter Alex Wood, were happy for him, too.
"He took two heaters and still battled back," Seager said. "He was calm as hell. It was like nothing just happened there. A lot of people’s motors are going and he had no heartbeat."
Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki called for a slider on Robles’ last pitch, but got shaken off.
"Ultimately, I want my pitcher to have conviction with what he is throwing and if he doesn’t feel comfortable with throwing a slider in that situation then I have to trust him on that," Plawecki said.
Kenley Jansen (1-0) worked a scoreless inning for his first win since last June 18 against Texas. He has tossed scoreless relief in 13 of 14 appearances.
Chase Utley started against the Mets for the first time since the NL playoffs last year, when his takeout slide broke Ruben Tejada’s leg. He went 1 for 4.
The Mets tied the game 2-all in the second. Yoenis Cespedes singled and scored on an error by Utley at second base. Plawecki added an RBI single.
The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead in the first on Seager’s RBI double and Adrian Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly.
Mets starter Jacob deGrom allowed two runs and eight hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked none. The right-hander was coming off his first loss after giving up eight hits and three runs in five innings of a 5-3 loss at San Diego last Thursday, when he gave up his first homer in his shortest outing of the season.
"My stuff was kind of flat in the zone," deGrom said. "You are out there giving 100 percent and give up eight hits and seems like every inning you got a guy on and most innings guys were in scoring position it felt like."
Mets manager Terry Collins credited deGrom for showing resolve.
"He is fighting through some mechanical things right now," Collins said. "This guy was in trouble for the first five innings and yet you look up and he gave you seven innings."
Wood allowed two runs (one earned) and four hits in 6 1/3 innings. The left-hander struck out nine and walked two.
Mets: LHP Josh Edgin, coming back from Tommy John surgery, was recalled from his rehab assignment and optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas. … 2B Neil Walker was out of the lineup for the third straight game with a sore right leg. He fouled two balls off the same spot on his right shin in San Diego. He is expected to return Wednesday.
Dodgers: INF-OF Alex Guerrero began his rehab assignment at Class A Rancho Cucamonga as he works his way back from injuries to his left groin and left knee sustained in spring training. The Dodgers have nine players on the disabled list.
Collins paid a pregame visit to Vin Scully in his broadcast booth, a ritual for opposing managers wanting to see Scully in his 67th and final season.
"He’s one of the finest human beings on the face of the earth," Collins said. "He treats you like you’re something special when he’s the one who is special."
Former Dodgers pitching great Don Newcombe also greeted Collins, who played in the Dodgers’ minor league system in the 1970s and early `80s.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (2-2, 2.58 ERA) starts the third game of the series. He faced the Dodgers twice in last year’s NLDS, including once in relief.
Dodgers: RHP Kenta Maeda (3-1, 1.66) makes his first career start against the Mets. His ERA ranks third in the NL.