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Zack Greinke still scoreless, Dodgers survive to beat Mets

Harry How/Getty Images

Zack Greinke continued his romp through the National League on Saturday, shutting down the Mets for seven innings, and the Dodgers held on for a 4-3 victory on Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

Greinke pitched his fourth consecutive scoreless start and extended his scoreless streak to 27⅔ innings, the second-longest of his career (he had 38 straight innings in 2008-2009). Though Greinke said he wasn't thinking much about the streak.

"I don't think about the past, or the future," Greinke said, with a smirk.

With four strikeouts in his seven scoreless innings on Saturday, Greinke lowered his ERA to 1.48, tops in baseball. It was the ninth time Greinke has lasted at least seven innings in 2015, and the 13th time in 17 starts this year that he allowed zero or one run.

Saturday was the fourth start this season for Greinke without a walk.

The Dodgers executed a solid game plan against Matt Harvey, and threatened against the right-hander all day. They loaded the bases with nobody out in the second inning, but were able to push across only one run, on a ground out by Jimmy Rollins.

Two on with nobody out in the third turned into another bases-loaded threat, but got no runs out of it. A two-out single in the fourth inning went unrewarded too, but that was probably because the karmic gods punished Greinke, who hit the single, for not using 'Careless Whisper' before that at-bat (he did use it in both his first and third plate appearances, however).

"I have two good songs now," Greinke said after the game.

The Dodgers finally got to Harvey again in the fifth, first with a solo home run to right center field by Adrian Gonzalez, his 15th home run of the season and second in as many days. Singles by Yasmani Grandal, Andre Ethier and Alberto Callaspo brought home a second run in the inning, and 3-0 cushion, which was more than enough for Greinke.

That was enough to end Harvey's day after just five innings, having thrown 100 pitches. He walked five tying his career high, set in 2012, just the second time in his career he walked more than three in a game.

Grandal doubled off left-hander Alex Torres in the seventh inning, the first extra-base hit for Grandal batting right-handed in 31 plate appearances. One out later, Ethier walked, his first walk against a southpaw all year (28 PA). Callaspo followed with a single off Wilmer Flores' glove up the middle, giving he and Grandal hits from both sides of the plate on the day, and giving the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.

After getting four hits in the first seven innings, New York rallied for four hits in the eighth inning alone for two runs. The Mets had the tying runs on the corners with two outs in the frame, but Pedro Baez - the third pitcher of the inning - was able to get John Mayberry Jr. to fly out to center field to end the threat.

Manager Don Mattingly said he would have left Greinke, at 100 pitches, start the eighth inning had his spot in the batting order not come up in the seventh, at least to face the first two batters, both right-handed.

Closer Kenley Jansen was unavailable after throwing 24 pitches on Friday and pitching in three of the previous four days, so Baez started the ninth. Baez was very shaky to open the inning with a hit batter and a single, putting the tying runs on base with nobody out. But he got two fly outs, allowing one of the runs to score.

J.P. Howell came in to strike out Curtis Granderson for the final out of the game, earning his first save of the season, the 22nd of his career, and his first since 2011. Howell is the sixth Dodgers pitcher to record a save this season.

"I felt pretty comfortable today, especially when J.P. came in," Greinke said. "It seems like the tougher the situation, the better he does."

Up next

The Dodgers go for a series win on Sunday afternoon, with Mike Bolsinger on the mound against lefty Steven Matz, making his second major league start.

Saturday particulars

Home run: Adrian Gonzalez (15)

WP - Zack Greinke (7-2): 7 IP, 4 hits, 4 strikeouts

LP - Matt Harvey (7-6): 5 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 5 walks, 4 strikeouts

Sv - J.P. Howell (1): ⅓ IP, 1 strikeout