NEW YORK -- Coming off two losses in Arizona, the Dodgers probably lost infielder Juan Uribe on Tuesday night to a hamstring injury and definitely lost infielder Alex Guerrero to dugout mayhem down on the farm.
But even with the losses, the Dodgers hammered out a 9-4 win over the Mets that finally had the manager seeing a bright side.
"We know one game over .500 is not good enough," said Don Mattingly. "We've got to be able to turn the page, be more focused, and today was a good start."
Adrian Gonzalez had three hits, including a tiebreaking two-run homer; Yasiel Puig, reigning National League co-Player of the Week, also had three hits and scored twice with an RBI; and Carl Crawford had a pair of hits and scored three runs. Eight Dodgers drove in runs, six scored them and they went 7-for-14 with runners in scoring position (but 0-for-2 with the bases loaded).
"Tonight our offense was great," said Gonzalez. "We took walks, put pressure on them every inning. We did a good job."
Josh Beckett picked up his second consecutive win after going 14 starts without one, but left more work for the bullpen than he envisioned. J.P. Howell and Chris Withrow pitched out of jams, Brian Wilson had an effective inning and Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth in his first appearance in eight days.
Beckett (2-1) allowed one run over the first four innings, escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, then didn't retire any of the four batters he faced in the sixth. In five-plus innings, Beckett was charged with four runs, three of them scoring in that sixth inning on home runs by Curtis Granderson and Lucas Duda.
When he left the game, he was noticeably mad -- at himself.
"It hurts that I killed the bullpen the first game of the series," said Beckett. "That's what I'm really mad about."
The Dodgers are 6-2 in games that follow days off, no doubt a reflection on a club heavy with veterans that can use the rest, as Mattingly indicated when he was asked about shortstop Hanley Ramirez's noticeable higher energy level.
"Give him a couple of days [off], rest always is good for guys in there every day," Mattingly said.
Beckett barely outlasted Mets rookie starter Rafael Montero, whose second Major League start turned wild in the second inning with three walks. That led to a flare single by Beckett that scored Crawford, who had walked, stole second and went to third on catcher Juan Centeno's throwing error.
A.J. Ellis, who walked with two outs, went to third on the single and Dee Gordon walked to load the bases, but Puig struck out, leaving the Dodgers 3-for-32 with the bases loaded this year.
The Mets answered in the bottom of the inning. Granderson's double landed on the right-field foul line and he tagged to third on Chris Young's flyout. After Beckett made a nice play on a tapper to nail Duda at first, Wilmer Flores brought the run home with an infield single.
Ramirez led off the fifth with the Dodgers' fourth walk, and one out later, Gonzalez homered to right-center, his 11th and second in as many games. Matt Kemp doubled and was singled home by Crawford, who stole second, was wild pitched to third and scored on Uribe's broken-bat single.
Beckett needed key pitches to escape trouble in the fifth, when the Mets loaded the bases with one out. Beckett struck out Daniel Murphy and got David Wright to ground out.
"He's obviously not 95-96 [mph] anymore, but I think he became smarter as far as adding, subtracting, cutter," Wright said of Beckett. "He has the cutter, he will throw that curveball to varying speeds. I think what he's lost in velocity he's made up in knowing how to pitch and adding and subtracting."
The fifth inning, however, might have taken something out of the Dodgers' starter, because the Mets teed off in the sixth. Granderson, who doubled and scored in the second inning, led off the sixth with a towering homer, Young doubled to center and Duda homered, cutting the margin to 6-4. When Beckett walked Flores, he was replaced by Howell, who put out the fire.
But Howell started another one in the seventh by allowing one-out singles to Wright and Granderson. Withrow relieved and hit Young with his first pitch to load the bases, but put down the threat without a run scoring.
The Dodgers added three runs in the ninth to put the game out of reach.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.