LOS ANGELES - For Steven Matz, the sequel proved nearly as good as the original.
In his second big-league start, the Long Island lefty allowed two hits and tossed six shutout innings, lifting the Mets to an 8-0 victory Sunday over the Dodgers.
The Mets won just their third road series of the season and their first since May 8-10 in Philadelphia. It comes at a crucial time for the Mets (42-41), who took two of three from the Dodgers to begin a grueling six-game West Coast road trip.
"It's been a lot of fun," said Matz, who improved to 2-0 and lowered his ERA to 1.32. "It's been great. It's been a good learning experience so far. I want to keep on learning and get better."
Matz didn't seem bothered by tightness in his left lat muscle, which manager Terry Collins revealed had plagued the pitcher after his debut last Sunday.
Said Matz: "Once I got out there, it was feeling good and it still feels good now."
Meanwhile, the Mets' offense enjoyed a rare breakout behind second baseman Wilmer Flores, who went 4-for-5. He set a career best for hits in a game and also knocked in three runs.
"It's a good feeling," said Flores, who went 10-for-13 with two doubles and five RBIs in the series. "We know we're going to have the pitching every day. So we've got to score runs. That's it."
Daniel Murphy went 3-for-4 with a walk. Curtis Granderson drilled an RBI double down the leftfield line during a three-run fourth inning.
Juan Lagares finished with two hits, both of which were due to some good fortune.
The first was a fourth-inning grounder that struck second-base umpire Dan Bellino to help continue the three-run rally. The second was a long fly ball in the seventh that rightfielder Yasiel Puig misplayed into a two-run triple.
The Mets finished with 15 hits, one short of a season high. Their eight runs were the most since June 14.
The cushion proved to be plenty for Matz, who struck out eight and walked just two. His 14 strikeouts in his first two games as a Met rank second in franchise history, trailing only Matt Harvey's 18.
In his debut last Sunday, Matz dazzled despite a crush of attention and a triple-digit contingent of friends and family in the stands at Citi Field. Not only did he go 7 2/3 innings for a win, but went 3-for-3 with four RBIs at the plate.
But Sunday felt normal.
"It was a little different," said Matz, who settled down despite falling behind in counts.
Still, he logged six innings despite needing 43 pitches to get through the first two frames. And just like in his debut, the Ward Melville product helped his own cause.
In the fourth, Matz grounded out with runners on the corners to knock in catcher Johnny Monell. Matz collected his fifth RBI in his first two games as a Met, equaling the franchise record shared by Richie Hebner and Bernard Gilkey.
It only helped the Mets toward a victory that Collins said they needed "extremely bad" after a stretch in which the offense has dried up and the Mets have crashed back toward the .500 mark.
When the Mets take on the Giants Monday night in the first of three games, it will be fresh off their first shutout victory over the Dodgers since 2012.
Said Matz: "It will definitely give us momentum going into San Francisco."
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