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Anemic Mets lineup blanked on three-hitter by Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw

Lucas Duda and Bartolo Colon talk about Clayton Kershaw taking a perfect game into the seventh inning during Thursday night's 3-0 loss against the Dodgers at Citi Field. (Credit: Newsday / Tim Nwachukwu)

Unfortunately for the Mets, Clayton Kershaw's wife gave birth in January.

The Mets lucked out Thursday when they learned that Zack Greinke, in the midst of a 422/3-inning scoreless streak, would miss his start Friday night because his wife had gone into labor.

But they didn't have much luck, or many hits, against Kershaw. The reigning National League MVP and Cy Young Award winner made his start as scheduled, flirted with perfection, and now has an impressive scoreless streak of his own.

Kershaw tossed a three-hit shutout after he carried a perfect game into the seventh inning in the Dodgers' 3-0 win over the Mets Thursday night at Citi Field.

"He right now is pitching great,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said. "And the way we were swinging the bats, we were overmatched."

It would have been one of the more unsurprising no-hitters in history. Kershaw has regained his old form of late and has had great success against the Mets in his career. The Mets had John Mayberry Jr., who entered the game with a .170 average, batting cleanup.

Leading off the bottom of the seventh, Curtis Granderson lined an 0-and-2 slider into right to break up Kershaw's perfect game.

"There's a lot of luck that has to happen to throw a perfect game,'' Kershaw said. "Obviously a lot of lineouts and things like that. I thought I made a pretty decent pitch to Granderson and he put a good swing on it. So, tip your cap.''

Wilmer Flores added a one-out bloop single to put runners on first and second with the Mets trailing 1-0. Kershaw struck out Mayberry on a curveball and got Eric Campbell to hit a grounder to short.

Lucas Duda singled up the middle to lead off the eighth. Representing the tying run, he was picked off first by Kershaw.

"He has kind of a lean before he goes to the plate and I knew the bunt was on,'' Duda said. "I guessed wrong. Mistake on my part.''

The Mets spoiled a brilliant start by Bartolo Colon, whose only blemish over a season-high eight innings was a home run to Jimmy Rollins, on a 1-and-2 pitch that gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the third inning. It was Rollins' ninth career homer at Citi Field in 50 games. Colon (9-9, 4.60) allowed five hits and no walks and had four strikeouts. He threw only 88 pitches, 60 for strikes.

Kershaw (8-6, 2.51) struck out 11 and walked none. In his last three starts, he has 38 strikeouts and no walks.

"He really didn't miss over the middle of the plate today,'' Duda said. "He's tough. When he's locating like that, it makes for a tough night for us.''

Sean Gilmartin relieved Colon in the ninth and allowed three straight singles to load the bases. Carlos Torres walked Alberto Callaspo on four pitches to increase the Dodgers' lead to 2-0. Yasiel Puig lifted a sacrifice fly to right to make it 3-0.

Kershaw put the Mets down in order in the ninth, giving him 29 consecutive scoreless innings. The last run he allowed was on July 3, surprisingly against the Mets.

"I'm trying to copy Zack for sure, the way he's throwing,'' Kershaw said. "It's been really fun to watch. Just trying not to lower the bar at all when I'm out there.''

That's hard to do against this Mets lineup.


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