Freese, Barnes homer as Dodgers rally to beat Mets 11-4

AP
September 05, 2018 - 5:11 am

© Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Categories: 

 LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Committed to the defensive side of his game this year, even 
while his offense floundered, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes was 
finally rewarded for his patience.
 
 Barnes hit just his second home run of the season and first since May 3, while 
also helping starting pitcher Rich Hill turn his night around as the Dodgers 
erased an early four-run deficit to defeat the New York Mets 11-4 on Tuesday.
 
 David Freese hit his first homer with his new club and the Dodgers remained a 
half-game behind first-place Colorado in the NL West. The teams meet this 
weekend for three games at Coors Field.
 
 Barnes was such a revelation for the Dodgers last year that he started 13 
postseason games, including all seven in the World Series. But Yasmani Grandal 
has returned to being the team's primary catcher, while Barnes' bat has slumped. 
Dodgers pitchers, though, have continually praised Barnes' work behind the 
plate.
 
 ``It was obviously a tremendous swing and he did a great job again tonight 
behind the dish,'' Hill said. ``He's obviously one of the best catchers in the 
league and to see him swing the bat the way he did tonight was great.''
 
 The Dodgers won for the ninth time in 11 games, while the Mets fell to 4-4 on 
their nine-game trip to Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
 
 Jay Bruce and Michael Conforto each hit a two-run homer off Hill to give the 
Mets a 4-0 advantage.
 
 ``You don't have (comfort) against these guys, not in this park, not with the 
way the roster's constructed,'' Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. ``It's going 
to be a long game because whoever you bring in, they've got weapons off the 
bench.''
 
 Freese, who made his Dodgers debut Saturday after he was acquired from the 
Pittsburgh Pirates, pulled Los Angeles within a run in the fourth when he went 
deep against Mets starter Jason Vargas for his 10th home run.
 
 ``It's a great pickup,'' Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. ``It's a 
professional at-bat. It's the willingness to do whatever we ask of him. He's a 
guy that has been in big spots and has performed, so to have him on our roster 
for depth is huge.''
 
 The Dodgers added two more runs in the fourth inning, one on Barnes' grounder 
to third base that was misplayed by Todd Frazier for an error, and another on a 
fielder's choice grounder from Brian Dozier that gave Los Angeles a 5-4 lead.
 
 The Dodgers broke open the game with six runs in the seventh. Manny Machado, 
Freese and Enrique Hernandez all drove in runs, and Machado scored from second 
base on a wild pitch by reliever Corey Oswalt. Yasmani Grandal capped the 
outburst with a two-run double.
 
 Los Angeles' comeback resembled the high-power club that swung its way to Game 
7 of the World Series last year.
 
 ``I think it's starting to turn a little bit,'' Barnes said. ``I think we all 
know what we are capable of.''
 
 Vargas (5-9) gave up six hits and five runs _ four earned _ in 3 1/3 innings. 
He allowed four earned runs over his previous four starts. 
 
 ``I think just not being able to get that low call, especially,'' Vargas said. 
``I felt there were some pretty good pitches in there that would have set some 
at-bats up a bit differently, and things just didn't go our way after that.'' 
 
 Hill (7-5) permitted four runs and seven hits in six innings with a walk and 
eight strikeouts. After Frazier doubled following Conforto's home run, Hill gave 
up just one more hit until he was removed to start the seventh.
 
     LOSS-LOSS LAND
 
 The Mets have dropped 13 of their last 14 regular-season games to the Dodgers 
going back to May 28, 2016. 
 
     TURNER HONORED
 
 Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner received two honors on Tuesday. He was 
chosen the National League player of the month for August, and selected the 
team's Roberto Clemente Award nominee for his work on and off the field. Turner 
returned from the disabled list Aug. 2 and batted .402 in August with 22 runs, 
11 doubles, six homers and a 1.213 OPS.
 
     TRAINER'S ROOM
 
 Mets: C Devin Mesoraco was feeling residual soreness after straining his neck 
and back on a swing Monday, but tests showed he did not have a serious injury. 
... Callaway said RHP Anthony Swarzak, on the DL since early August with right 
shoulder inflammation, could be activated during the team's upcoming seven-game 
homestand, which begins Friday against Philadelphia.
 
 Dodgers: RHP Kenley Jansen met with a team cardiologist, and the Dodgers are 
still trying to determine if their closer will travel this weekend to Colorado, 
where he has twice experienced an irregular heartbeat.
 
     UP NEXT
 
 RHP Zack Wheeler (9-7, 3.37 ERA) pitches for the Mets on Wednesday. He is 
coming off a tough-luck loss at San Francisco on Friday that snapped his 
seven-game win streak going back to July 14. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-1, 2.24) will 
start for the Dodgers. He has a 2.38 ERA in four starts since coming off the 
disabled list after being sidelined by a left groin strain.