WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets again moved above .500, at 43-32, despite a punchless first five innings to start the West Coast trip.
Los Angeles Dodgers
THAT’S THE RUB: Rookie Rubby De La Rosa held the Mets hitless until Ruben Tejada opened what became a three-run sixth inning with a line single to left field.
Tejada had just fouled off a 2-2 pitch, which appeared to strike on-deck batter Chris Capuano in the right leg, just above the knee. Capuano walked toward the dugout and pointed at that spot, then stepped into the batter’s box after Tejada’s single and advanced Tejada to second base with a bunt.
Three of the next four batters -- Angel Pagan, Carlos Beltran and Daniel Murphy -- delivered RBI doubles as the Mets suddenly took a 3-2 lead.
BAY WATCH: The half-inning after the Mets took that one-run lead, Capuano served up a leadoff rocket by Aaron Miles to left field. However, Jason Bay ran down the shot. Bay then slammed the Dodger Stadium outfield wall, in front of a panel scoreboard, showing no ill effects from the jolt. It was at Dodger Stadium last July 23 that Bay suffered a season-ending concussion. That time, he struck the fence in front of the bullpen, further toward the foul line.
In the eighth, Bay gave the Mets a two-run cushion with a two-out RBI single to center field. Lucas Duda followed with a run-scoring single as the Mets took a 5-2 lead.
New York Mets
OUCH: Justin Turner, who seems to be a magnet for inside pitches, was plunked in the left ankle by reliever Scott Elbert in the eighth inning. After a visit from the medical staff, Turner labored to first base. Turner has been hit by six pitches this season, double any teammate. The franchise hit-by-pitch record for a season is 13, by John Olerud in 1997 and Ron Hunt in 1963.
CAPPER: Capuano allowed two runs on six hits while walking two (one intentional) and striking out five. He departed for pinch-hitter Willie Harris in the seventh with the Mets leading, 3-2. Capuano had started to serve up deep shots in his final inning, including for the final out of the sixth by A.J. Ellis to the track in right-center.
K-ROD TRACKER: A day after working two innings against the Yankees, Francisco Rodriguez notched his 21st save and 32nd game finished, despite surrendering a leadoff double. He is on pace for 61 games finished, six more than the threshold for his contract to kick in for 2012 at $17.5 million. Bobby Parnell tossed two perfect innings leading into the closer.
WHAT’S NEXT: Mike Pelfrey (4-7, 4.92 ERA) opposes left-hander Ted Lilly (5-8, 4.97) in Game 2 of the four-game series, at 10:10 p.m. ET Tuesday. Lilly’s start was pushed back a day by the Dodgers because of elbow tenderness. The ex-Yankee has allowed six runs in each of his past three starts.