NEW YORK - Jordany Valdespin began the night on the bench and ended it partying at home plate.
A late-inning substitute, Valdespin hit a grand slam in the 10th as the New York Mets rallied past the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-3 Wednesday to save early sensation Matt Harvey from his first loss of the season.
"Coming back and winning a game like that, that's huge for us as we move forward," manager Terry Collins said.
Matt Kemp hit his first homer of the year and drove in three runs as Los Angeles grabbed a 3-1 lead against Harvey. The budding Mets ace pitched pretty well, though, and was bailed out when his teammates came back.
David Wright tied the game with a two-out single in the ninth off closer Brandon League, handed his first blown save in a Dodgers uniform.
Pinch-hitter Mike Baxter hustled for a leadoff double when his sinking liner to left glanced off the wrist of a sliding Carl Crawford. Baxter advanced on Ruben Tejada's sacrifice, and League had a chance to get out of it after third baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. crashed into the railing to make a spectacular catch on Daniel Murphy's foul popup.
Wright, however, lined the next pitch to right-center for his first hit of the night.
"Definitely a tough one," League said.
John Buck led off the 10th with a single against Josh Wall (0-1), and Ike Davis walked on four pitches. Both runners moved up on Marlon Byrd's sacrifice, and Lucas Duda was intentionally walked to load the bases.
In the dugout, Harvey was encouraging Valdespin.
"I told him they're going to walk Duda and you're going to win this game," the pitcher said.
With the Dodgers playing five infielders and two shallow outfielders, Valdespin drove a 2-1 pitch to right for his first career slam and game-ending RBI.
"I'm not thinking about the infielders. I want to hit a good pitch," Valdespin said. "I'm ahead, it's time to be aggressive and hit the ball."