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    Dodgers break out of slump, complete trip with sweep of Mets
    • May 30, 2024

    NEW YORK — If you can break it here, you can break it anywhere.

    The Dodgers arrived at Citi Field reeling from a three-game sweep in Cincinnati, slumping offensively and wearing a five-game losing streak, their longest in five years.

    They snapped the losing streak on Tuesday and broke out of the offensive slump on Wednesday, completing a three-game sweep of the New York Mets with a 10-3 victory.

    The 10 runs were the most they had scored in a game since a 10-2 win in San Francisco on May 14 and nearly matched their total during the losing streak (11).

    Will Smith carried the day in the series finale, going 3 for 4 with two home runs and a double. But the Dodgers piled up 16 hits, their highest total since a 16-hit barrage against the Atlanta Braves on May 4. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman were the only starters not to indulge.

    Eight-for-43 (.186) in his 11 games before Wednesday, Shohei Ohtani had a two-run home run and an RBI single. Miguel Rojas had a four-hit game with a double and an RBI. Jason Heyward came off the bench to triple in the eighth and homer in the ninth.

    Six of the runs came in that eighth inning and washed away a pitching plan fraught with peril.

    Starting pitching carried the Dodgers (36-22) through their doubleheader sweep Tuesday. Tyler Glasnow and Gavin Stone each gave them seven outstanding innings. They didn’t ask James Paxton to continue the trend.

    The Dodgers have handled the 35-year-old Paxton carefully this season. Wednesday was the first time in 10 starts that he had been asked to pitch on four days of rest – the standard for decades but one the Dodgers have abandoned, preferring to give their starting pitchers more time off between starts.

    They got just three scoreless innings and only 50 pitches from Paxton.

    That put an early 3-0 lead in the hands of the bullpen with six innings to cover.

    Smith was largely responsible for that lead. He led off the second inning with his third home run on this six-game road trip then led off the fourth with a double into the left field corner. Andy Pages drove him in with a single.

    The Dodgers made it 3-0 in the fifth when Miguel Vargas walked, moved to second on a wild pickoff attempt and scored on Ohtani’s RBI single (114.1 mph off the bat).

    Bouncing back from his troubling outings in Cincinnati, Yohan Ramirez retired the side in the fourth – with Vargas’ help, running down a drive by Jeff McNeil near the wall in left-center.

    Elieser Hernandez took the handoff – and fumbled the lead away.

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    Hernandez didn’t retire any of the three batters he faced, giving up a single to Harrison Bader, a two-run home run to No. 9 hitter Tomas Nido and then walking Francisco Lindor. Nido’s home run was the fifth one Hernandez has given up in 9⅔ innings with the Dodgers.

    Michael Grove replaced Hernandez and gave up a game-tying RBI double to J.D. Martinez before getting out of the inning.

    Smith got the lead back for the Dodgers in the eighth and kicked off the big inning. He lined a hanging slider from Adam Ottavino into the seats for his second home run of the game and the 100th of his career.

    The Dodgers poured it on from there against a Mets team that has lost eight of nine and is just 10-25 since April 21. Heyward tripled and scored on a Rojas single. Vargas drove in two runs with a double and Ohtani went the opposite way with a sinker that didn’t sink for his 14th home run of the season.

    More to come on this story.

    ​ Orange County Register