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Dodgers break out of slump, complete trip with sweep of Mets

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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).

The Dodgers’ breakout in Queens was backloaded. They scored five runs in the last three innings of a 10-inning win in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader then broke open a tie game with six runs in the eighth inning Wednesday.

Also broken — Mets reliever Jorge Lopez. The veteran right-hander came into the eighth-inning mess and got into an argument with third-base umpire Ramon DeJesus. After DeJesus ejected Lopez from the game, the veteran reliever stalked off the field, shedding his hat and firing his glove over the netting behind the home dugout and into the stands.

Lopez was just getting started. Told that his manager had called his behavior “unacceptable,” Lopez said he didn’t regret anything and that “I think I’ve been on the worst team in probably the whole (expletive) MLB.”

Not for long. Lopez reportedly will be designated for assignment by the Mets.

The Dodgers had a much better day at the office.

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.

“It’s good to see. We all know the expectations of this offense. We all know we have the opportunity to win every single day,” said Miguel Rojas who had four of the Dodgers’ 16 hits. “But … we can’t really rely on Shohei’s homer, Freddie’s homer, Mookie being on a tear. We have to find a way to do it with small ball, too, the small ways of playing the game. On defense. Running the bases. That bunt by CT the other day to tie the game was really important.

“We can be a complete team. And then we got a little bit of flashbacks of the series last year in the playoffs when we couldn’t hit (during the losing streak), and we felt like we didn’t have a chance. So we got to find a way to have a chance, even when we don’t have the homers and we don’t have the Big Three at the top of the lineup. We have to find a way to continue to do that every single day.”

Eight-for-43 (.186) in his 11 games before Wednesday, Shohei Ohtani did hit a two-run home run and drive in a run with a single that left the bat at 114.1 mph. Jason Heyward came off the bench to triple in the eighth and homer in the ninth.

Ten of the Dodgers’ hits came from the sixth through ninth spots in their order.

“There’s been a lot of talk obviously about the bottom of the order,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Today, you can see when they’re taking productive at-bats, getting hits, taking walks good things happen.”

After getting outstanding starts from Tyler Glasnow and Gavin Stone to end the losing streak Tuesday, the Dodgers offense took care of business in what was essentially a bullpen game.

The Dodgers have handled the 35-year-old James 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.

Paxton stuck around for only three scoreless innings and 50 pitches.

“I think they just want to take care of me,” Paxton said. “It’s a long-term play, keeping my innings down, giving me extra rest, especially going on regular rest for the first time, keeping the load a little lighter.”

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

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. Miguel 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.

“For us to get ahead was huge,” Smith said of the eighth-inning breakout. “J-Hey hit the triple and there were a couple good at bats behind him, Miggy getting him in. That’s when we won the ballgame. It was a good team win and (now we) fly home happy.”

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