Adrian Gonzalez homered and tied a season high with five runs batted in to power the Dodgers over the Mets 7-4 on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers have won three straight games and now lead San Francisco by 4½ games in the National League West.
The win was the third straight victory for the Dodgers, the 11th time this season the club has won at least three games in a row. Only once this season have the Dodgers extended one of those winning streaks past three games, pushing to six games from July 25-31.
Gonzalez singled home a run in the fourth inning then scored on a sacrifice fly to pull within 3-2, then hit a three-run shot in the fifth inning to give the Dodgers their first lead. Gonzalez tattooed another ball to right field in the seventh inning, but it was caught by Curtis Granderson for a sacrifice fly.
The five RBI by Gonzalez match a season high, also accomplished on April 11 in Arizona. Gonzalez, who was hot on the road trip but only 4-for-24 on the current homestand entering Saturday, was 2-for-3 on the night.
Since the All-Star break Gonzalez is hitting .328/.380/.525 with 28 RBI in 34 games.
"For the past month, month and a half, he's been swinging the bat well. We need him to do that," Zack Greinke said of Gonzalez. "He's always been hitting well with runners in scoring position, but now he's seemingly hitting well all the time."
With 88 RBI on the season Gonzalez ranks second in the National League, five behind Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins. Manager Don Mattingly praised Gonzalez's steadiness at driving in runs.
"Adrian's a day-in, day-out kind of grinder. He picks up one, picks up two. Tonight he got five. He's a guy who will drive in runs with a guy on third, put the ball in play if he needs to," Mattingly said. "As far as consistency, I don't think we've had anybody quite like him."
Gonzalez credited his RBI totals to "staying in the lineup," which is definitely a part of it. He also leads the majors with 183 plate appearances with runners in scoring position, 13 more than anyone else.
"I have a simple approach I guess, not trying to do too much," Gonzalez said. "It's just my mentality. There is no formula."
The offensive outburst made a winner out of Greinke, who allowed at least one hit in every inning but gutted through seven frames for his 13th win of the season. Greinke struck out four on the night in his seven innings, none bigger than getting David Wright swinging with runners on first and third to end the seventh inning.
Greinke also used Wright to escape a first-and-third situation in the fifth inning, inducing a double play to end the frame.
Amid concerns about elbow soreness that caused this start to get pushed back two days, Greinke did allow two home runs for the second time in three starts and for only the third time all season.
One was a three-run home run by Juan Lagares in the fourth that gave the Mets a 3-0 lead. It was the first three-run home run allowed by Greinke since June 16, 2013, when Pedro Alvarez took him deep in Pittsburgh. It was only the sixth of his 18 home runs allowed this season with anyone on base.
Lucas Duda also took Greinke deep with a solo shot in the sixth.
Carl Crawford walked twice and scored two runs on Saturday. He also stole a base, giving him 20 steals for the first time since 2010. Crawford has nine seasons of 20 or more steals in his career, tied for fourth among active players, behind only Ichiro Suzuki (13), Jimmy Rollins (13) and Bobby Abreu (13).
Home runs: Adrian Gonzalez (18); Juan Lagares (3), Lucas Duda (24)
WP - Zack Greinke (13-8): 7 IP, 9 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
LP - Jacob deGrom (6-6): 6 IP, 5 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (37): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts