The Mets became the first team in almost 10 months to score more
than two runs off Greinke and center fielder Juan Lagares' two-run
single in the seventh inning broke a tie and lifted New York to a
5-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field.
The Mets (21-25), who won for just the second time in their last
eight games, scored more than four runs for just the sixth time in
24 home games and scored in four innings for the first time this
year at Citi Field.
"Everybody in the lineup contributed today, whether it was a walk, a
long at-bat, RBI hit," Mets left fielder Eric Campbell said after an
eventful major league debut at the position. "We got something from
all nine guys today, which, when you're in a little bit of a skid,
(is) what you need."
The Mets had just three hits in 12 at-bats with runners on base
Thursday, but every hit drove home a run: Lagares' single, a
fifth-inning double by left-handed pitcher Jonathon Niese and an
eighth-inning triple by right fielder Curtis Granderson.
In addition, Campbell delivered a sacrifice fly in the second and
Niese scored in the fifth when Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner
misplayed second baseman Daniel Murphy's two-out grounder.
"The talk this week is (the) situational hitting side," Mets manager
Terry Collins said. "We've all got to get better at it, because
ultimately down the road, (that's) going to win games for us."
Niese's run gave the Mets a 3-1 lead and ended Greinke's streak of
21 straight starts -- the longest since the earned run became a
statistic in 1914 -- in which he'd allowed two runs or less. The
Mets forced the Dodgers' ace right-hander to throw 101 pitches
before he departed after five innings.
"The game plan going in was to make this guy work, because if he
gets ahead of you he puts you away," Collins said. "I thought our
guys did a great job of working the counts."
Only one run was earned against Greinke, who allowed four hits and
two walks while striking out four. Because of the unearned runs,
Greinke set another big-league record with his 22nd straight start
in which he allowed two earned runs or less. Roger Clemens allowed
two earned runs or less in 21 straight starts in 1990-91.
"It wasn't that I was making mistakes all over the place," Greinke
said. "Just wasn't as crisp as normal."
Greinke was spared the loss when Turner, a former Mets infielder,
hit a game-tying, two-run homer with one out in the seventh.
But Niese, who surrendered the homer, went from disappointed to
elated a few minutes later when Lagares' single off right-hander
Chris Perez landed in right field and brought home shortstop Wilmer
Flores from third.
"I felt like I had it there and then all of a sudden it slipped
away," said Niese, who improved to 3-3 after allowing the three runs
on four hits and three walks while striking out five. "It was kind
of a relief to see Juan get that hit."
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Campbell preserved the one-run lead in the eighth, when he made a
diving catch of a liner by Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez and
doubled Puig off second base.
Right-hander Jenrry Mejia, pitching on back-to-back days for the
first time since 2010, earned his second save with a perfect ninth
The catch by Campbell provided a bit of revenge for the Mets, who
were likely robbed of a run by an unbelievable catch by Puig in the
second inning. With one out and a runner on first base, Flores
crushed a ball into the right-center-field gap.
Puig raced over, dove and made a backhanded snow-cone catch. He then
bounced up and fired to first base, where his throw nearly beat Mets
first baseman Lucas Duda -- who had rounded second before the catch
-- back to the bag.
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and second baseman Chone
Figgins pointed at Puig as the normally stone-faced Greinke grinned.
"That was about as good a catch as I've ever seen," Collins said.
Gonzalez had a sacrifice fly in the first for the Dodgers (25-23),
who were aiming for their first three-game winning streak since
April 30 through May 1.
NOTES: Mets C Travis d'Arnaud (concussion) ran and threw on the
field and hit in the cage Thursday. Manager Terry Collins hopes
d'Arnaud, who hasn't played since May 13, can take batting practice
Friday. ... INF/OF Eric Campbell started in left field for the first
time as a major-leaguer. He played 168 games in left field as a
minor-leaguer, including 31 the last two years Triple-A Las Vegas.
... The Dodgers released minor league C Miguel Olivo on Thursday,
two days after he bit off part of the ear of Triple-A Albuquerque
teammate Alex Guerrero during a fight in the dugout. ... Los Angeles
INF Chone Figgins made just his third start of the season, batting
leadoff and playing second base.
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