Dodgers Batter Mets; Take 3-2 Series Lead

L. A. Moves Back Home

NEW YORK--Rookie Tim Belcher won his second game of the playoffs and Kirk Gibson hit his second straight game-winning homer as Los Angeles beat the New York Mets 7-4 in Game 5 yesterday to move within one game of their first National League pennant since 1981.

The teams now fly to Los Angeles, where the Dodgers can wrap up the best-of-seven series Tuesday when former Met Tim Leary opposes David Cone, the losing pitcher in Game 2.

During the regular season, the Mets won 10 of 11 games from the Dodgers and won 56 games at home, including their last 11 at Shea Stadium. But the Dodgers came into New York and won two of three and take a 3-2 lead.

The Dodgers won Game 4 in 12 innings on Gibson's homer shortly before 1 a.m. EDT. A little less than 12 hours later, the two teams were back on the field for the fifth game with the series tied at two games apiece.

The Mets and Dwight Gooden were three outs away from taking a 3-1 lead in the series when Mike Scioscia tied the score with a two-run homer.

Gibson, who ended a 1-for-16 slump with his game-winning homer in Game 4, hit a three-run shot in the fifth inning for his second homer in a little over 12 hours.

With two outs in the ninth, Gibson beat out an infield hit, then appeared to reinjure his left hamstring stealing second and left the game. Jose Gonzalez ran for Gibson and scored the Dodgers' seventh run when Mike Marshall tripled to right-center.