LOS ANGELES — The red flags went up early. The first five batters that Zack Wheeler faced hit him. The Dodgers hit the righthander hard, chasing him after just two innings and going on to beat the Mets 10-6 at Dodger Stadium on Monday night.
It was the second straight alarming start for Wheeler, who is in his first year back after March 2015 Tommy John surgery. Monday, Wheeler allowed seven runs on eight hits in two innings against the Dodgers. He gave up a career-high three home runs and posted only the third game in his career where he gave up multiple homers.
“It is really frustrating,” Wheeler said. “These last two outings weren’t very fun and it’s just me not commanding.”
The Mets’ most consistent pitcher through May, Wheeler has allowed 15 earned runs — including five home runs — in 3.2 innings work over his last two starts.
He left the Mets in a 7-0 hole.
“His velocity was there, 96 a couple times today, so it’s not that,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “The velocity is good. I do see a different breaking ball. Breaking ball is not as sharp, but I am certainly…my pitching coach will certainly have a better idea of what’s going on there than me.
“Tonight in the first inning, he threw one changeup. We’ve discussed before with our power pitching, the change up is a great pitch for those guys and they are not using it.”
Jose Reyes homered twice and Jay Bruce and Gavin Cecchini each had a home run to chase Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw after just 6.1 innings. He allowed six runs on six hits, he walked one and struck out 10. The four home runs allowed was a career high for Kershaw. It was Cecchini’s first career major-league home run.
“You knock Clayton Kershaw, you better take advantage of it,” Collins said. “Certainly those add on runs at the end of the game came back to hurt us.”
Rafael Montero came in and gave the Mets 3.2 solid innings in relief, allowing one run on three hits. It was his second straight impressive appearance. The one-time top prospect has allowed one run over 6.2 innings.
And he gave the Mets a fighting chance.
After Reyes’ second homer cut the Dodgers’ lead to 8-6 in the top of the seventh, Fernando Salas gave up a leadoff homer to Chris Taylor and an RBI-single to Chase Utley.
The Mets loaded the bases in the eighth and Reyes came to the plate as the tying run. Dodgers’ righthander Chris Hatcher beat Reyes with a high fastball to strike him out and strand the three runners.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Former Met Justin Turner made a nice charging grab of Gavin Cecchini’s one-hopper up the third base line and fired a strike to get him out in the seventh. He also went 4-for-4 with four RBI.
STAR OF THE GAME
Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger homered twice off Zack Wheeler to set a new rookie record, hitting 21 home runs in his first 51 games. Beating a mark of 20 in 51 previously set by Yankees rookie Gary Sanchez last season. It was his fifth multi-home run game, the fastest anyone in major league hostory has done that.
The first five batters Zack Wheeler faced all got hits off him, putting the Mets in an immediate 4-0 hole.
4-17. The Mets hit four home runs off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, a career-high allowed for the three-time Cy Young winner. Jose Reyes had two of those, his second chased Kershaw after 6.1 innings. The lefty has allowed a career-high 17 home runs this season.
Jose Reyes hit two homers, driving in three runs. It was his eighth career multi-home run game, the first since July 10, 2016 against the Nationals.
Zack Wheeler has allowed 15 earned runs — including five home runs — in 3.2 innings work over his last two starts.
Tuesday at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
RHP Robert Gsellman (5-4, 5.50) vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-3, 3.14)