In a game that typified the sloppy play that has plagued their first two months of the season, the Dodgers dropped the series finale to the Mets 5-3 on Thursday night at Citi Field in New York.
A game that saw an error by third baseman Justin Turner, an error and several adventurous routes by center fielder Matt Kemp, the phrase "advance at your own peril" used twice to describe Yasiel Puig's baserunning, and a wild pitch by Chris Perez was still tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Perez, who allowed four runs in his previous two outings, was nearly out of his seventh inning jam, but with Wilmer Flores on third and two outs, Perez left an 0-2 pitch up and Juan Lagares made him pay with a single to right field for the go-ahead run.
The Mets added another run in the eighth on a single by David Wright followed by a triple by Curtis Granderson on a ball to right center field that Kemp jumped for but was never close to.
Zack Greinke pretty clearly didn't have his best stuff, and at the very least looked uncomfortable on the mound at times, stretching and grimacing at almost a Dan Haren -like pace. But even with the struggles he managed to hold the Mets to just one run through four innings.
But it all caught up with him in the fifth inning, when the Mets scored a pair of runs, punctuated by an RBI double by Jon Niese, just the third hit by a Mets pitcher all season. New York scored its third run when the third baseman Turner booted a two-out grounder by Daniel Murphy.
The third run snapped Greinke's streak of allowing two or fewer runs at 21 starts. The last time he allowed more than two runs in a game was July 25, 2013, when he gave up four runs to Cincinnati.
Greinke was done after throwing 101 pitches in five innings. Two of the runs he allowed were unearned, so in the least amount of consolation possible Greinke extended his streak to 22 starts with two or fewer earned runs, passing Roger Clemens in 1990-91 for the longest streak in baseball since at least 1914.
In the top of the sixth, Murphy tried to help the Dodgers get back in the game all by himself, first dropping an easy force out at second base then letting a pop fly drop. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, that pop fly was called an infield fly by second base umpire Larry Vanover, meaning the batter, Hanley Ramirez was out.
In addition, both Chone Figgins and Puig advanced at their own peril, and both would have been safe at third and second base respectively, but Puig overran the bag thinking he was out on a force play, and was tagged out by shortstop Flores for one of the most unconventional double plays possible.
Turner more than made up for the error in the top of the seventh inning, launching a two-run home run against his former team to tie the score at 3-3. It was the first home run of the year for Turner, hitting .323/.371/.484 in his last 13 games, dating back to May 2.
The Dodgers were close to tying the game in the eighth when, down 4-3, Puig doubled, but he kept running with one out when Ramirez hit a liner that was caught in a great diving catch by first-time major league outfielder Eric Campbell.
But hey, Puig did make what might be the catch of the year.
The Dodgers move on to Philadelphia for a weekend series, with Clayton Kershaw on the mound in the opener on Friday night. After a brief stint in the bullpen, Roberto Hernandez makes his first start in two weeks for the Phillies.
Home run: Justin Turner (1)
WP - Jon Niese (3-3): 7 IP, 4 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts
LP - Chris Perez (0-2): 1⅓ IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 2 strikeouts
Sv - Jenrry Mejia (2): 1 IP, 1 strikeout