Darvish throws gem in Dodgers debut, beats Mets 6-0

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NEW YORK (AP) — Yu Darvish fit right in with the Dodgers: He dominated.

The prized new pitcher struck out 10 over seven innings of three-hit ball during a brilliant debut for Los Angeles, leading the top team in the majors past the New York Mets 6-0 on Friday night.

"It couldn't have went any better," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said . "I can't even tell you how excited he was to throw that first pitch."

Chris Taylor hit a leadoff homer against Jacob deGrom, and Mets nemesis Chase Utley added a two-run shot as Los Angeles improved baseball's best record to 77-32 with its 11th victory in 12 games.

Yasiel Puig also went deep for the steamrolling Dodgers, who have outscored New York 42-11 in winning all five meetings this season.

"They're loaded," New York manager Terry Collins said before the game.

On the best extended roll by a big league team since World War II, the Dodgers are 42-7 since June 7 — a stretch unequaled in franchise history. They've won 22 of 25 since July 4, with all three losses coming against Atlanta.

"Everybody's really confident," Taylor said.

Acquired from Texas for three prospects at Monday's trade deadline, Darvish (1-0) only makes the Dodgers more imposing. The four-time All-Star snapped a five-game losing streak and won for the first time in nine outings since June 12 at Houston.

"His stuff looked electric," Utley said.

Darvish went 6-9 with a 4.01 ERA in 22 starts for the Rangers this year — and his last one was a dud. The Japanese right-hander gave up a career-high 10 runs over 3 2/3 innings July 26 in a 22-10 loss to Miami, and said afterward he detected how he was tipping his pitches.

But his first start with Los Angeles went smooth as could be.

"He seems like he just fits in perfect. I was just happy that we got a horse — another horse — that we could fit in into the rotation, so now you're not seeing three lefties in a row," catcher Yasmani Grandal said. "We knew we needed a righty starter."

Mixing his 95-96 mph fastball with a 71-75 mph curve and the rest of his polished assortment, Darvish walked only one and silenced a Mets team that has lost five of six.

"He throws anything at any time and he was very good tonight," New York slugger Jay Bruce said.

A few hours after Dodgers icon Sandy Koufax strolled through the clubhouse, Darvish put on a pitching show of his own. He snared a line drive to escape trouble in the first and retired his final nine batters, striking out the last three.

"First inning, it's a different environment, different players behind me," Darvish said through a translator. "But (from the) first inning to the second inning, it was all good."

Josh Fields and Luis Avilan finished up as Los Angeles held the Mets to four singles — two by Michael Conforto and one by deGrom, who became the first New York pitcher to steal a base since Oliver Perez in May 2008.

Taylor set the tone by opening the game with a tough at-bat against deGrom (12-5), who threw 31 pitches in the first inning and needed 81 to get through three as the Dodgers hit 21 foul balls.

Taylor worked an 0-2 count full and connected on the ninth pitch he saw, a 97 mph fastball, for his second career leadoff homer.

"Got to be better in the first inning," said deGrom, who has lost consecutive starts after winning eight straight. "My stuff was good tonight. I wasn't able to locate it."

Puig added a solo shot in the second, setting a career high with his 20th home run.

Utley, booed all night, homered into the second deck in right field off Josh Smoker in the sixth. The second baseman, who broke New York shortstop Ruben Tejada's leg with a late takeout slide in the 2015 playoffs, has 39 career home runs against the Mets, most among active players.

"I know Chase enjoys playing here," Roberts said.


Touted rookie Amed Rosario singled and stole a base in his Citi Field debut for the Mets. The 21-year-old shortstop was called up from the minors before Tuesday's game at Colorado. "I am very thankful for the reaction I got from the fans," he said through a translator.


Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (lower back strain) won't begin throwing off a mound anytime in the next few days, Roberts said. ... LHP Alex Wood feels good about making his next scheduled start, Roberts said. Wood said he felt a little tired after beating Atlanta on Thursday night. It's possible he could miss a turn but unlikely, Roberts explained. ... OF Andre Ethier, sidelined all season by a herniated disk, probably will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga in the next few days.

Mets: All-Star closer Jeurys Familia is throwing in Florida and could return by the third week of August, general manager Sandy Alderson said. Familia had surgery in May for a blood clot near his right armpit. ... RHP Noah Syndergaard (torn lat muscle) and RHP Matt Harvey (shoulder) are still expected back this season. ... CF Juan Lagares (broken left thumb) is rehabbing at Double-A Binghamton. ... RHP Robert Gsellman (strained left hamstring) should be back soon, Alderson said.


Dodgers LHP Rich Hill (8-4, 3.35 ERA) starts the middle game of the series Saturday against RHP Seth Lugo (5-3, 4.53). Hill was the NL pitcher of the month for July, going 4-0 with a 1.45 ERA in five starts. He beat the Mets at Dodger Stadium on June 21 but has a 9.00 ERA in 13 career innings against them.


More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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