Mets Dodge Sweep
By HOWIE RUMBERG AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Jonathon Niese hit an RBI double to provide himself some much-needed run support, and the New York Mets took advantage of two Dodgers miscues to end Zack Greinke’s remarkable runs-allowed streak and beat Los Angeles 5-3 Thursday night.
Juan Lagares had a go-ahead RBI single in the seventh and Niese (3-3) pitched seven sharp innings for New York, which won for just the sixth time in 20 games this month and avoided a three-game sweep.
Rookie Eric Campbell, playing his first career game in left field, doubled Yasiel Puig off second base after making a spectacular diving catch in the eighth to preserve the Mets’ lead.
The dynamic yet, at times, frustrating Puig made a sensational catch of his own on a sinking liner to right-center that was so good it elicited a warm ovation from the 23,416 in attendance. But he made two baserunning mistakes that could have cost the Dodgers runs.
Greinke’s stretch of 21 straight starts allowing two or fewer runs ended. A mark that hasn’t been matched since at least 1914 was done in by some sloppy play.
Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp bobbled Curtis Granderson’s drive in the first inning to right-center, allowing Granderson to take third base on a double. Granderson then scored on Campbell’s sacrifice fly.
In the fifth, third baseman Justin Turner failed to glove Daniel Murphy’s slow grounder that allowed Niese to score for a 3-1 lead.
Niese reached on a well-struck RBI double to right-center following Anthony Recker’s double to a similar spot.
Greinke was lifted after five, yielding four hits, three runs _ one earned _ two walks and four Ks. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 22 games.
Niese then walked Chone Figgins, playing in place of Dee Gordon, to start the sixth. Figgins advanced to second on Puig’s grounder to third when Murphy, the second baseman, dropped Wright’s force attempt _ the call was upheld by replay. But Niese escaped unscathed when Puig ran into an out on an infield fly gone awry.
Hanley Ramirez hit a high popup to second base. Murphy backed up under the ball but appeared to lose it in the lights. When the ball fell, Murphy hesitated and Puig jogged into second. Apparently thinking he was forced out, Puig wandered off second and was tagged out for the double play.
The Dodgers tied it in the seventh, though, when Turner hit his first homer with the Dodgers after spending parts of four seasons with the Mets.
Lagares’ RBI single off Chris Perez (0-2) s gave the Mets back the lead in the seventh. Granderson tripled in a run in the eighth for a 5-3 lead.
Niese had received just five runs of support total in his previous four home starts. The left-hander has not allowed more than three earned runs in 12 starts.
Jenrry Mejia pitched the ninth for his second save.
NOTES: Mets C Travis d’Arnaud (7-day concussion DL) was scheduled to do some on-field work before the game. If all goes well he should take batting practice on the field Friday. … Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said RHP Chad Billingsley (elbow surgery, 60-day DL) is nearing rehab games again. Mattingly did not have a date for when he would go out, tough. Billingsley’s recovery from surgery was setback by tendinitis. … Up next: The Dodgers head to Philadelphia on Friday and the Mets play host to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
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