NEW YORK -- Exhale!
For the second straight series against a first-place opponent, the New York Mets failed to hold a late two-run lead. This time, however, the Mets salvaged a 3-2 walk-off win in 10 innings Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Mets snapped Dodgers starter Zack Greinke's scoreless streak at 45 2/3 innings and received a scoreless effort from starter Jacob deGrom to take a 2-0 lead into the ninth inning. Closer Jeurys Familia then flopped while bidding for a four-out save. Familia surrendered one-out doubles to Adrian Gonzalez and ex-Met Justin Turner, followed by a game-tying RBI single to Yasmani Grandal.
All-Star worthy, Familia is now 0-for-2 in save conversions in the second half of the season. He has blown four of 31 chances this season.
The Mets had blown a 3-1 lead against the Washington Nationals in D.C. on Wednesday when Bobby Parnell allowed three eighth-inning runs. Mets manager Terry Collins faulted himself postgame that day for not having Familia warmed earlier to bail out Parnell in the eighth.
During their perilous 10-game stretch to open the second half of the season against three straight first-place teams, the Mets finished 4-6.
The Mets (51-48) moved to within two games of the Nationals for the top spot in the NL East.
Of course it was the pitcher! DeGrom had an awesome performance. His run-scoring grounder ended Greinke’s scoreless streak in the third inning.
Mets pitchers are the runaway leaders in RBIs in the majors. They now have 20 RBIs this season. In second place are the Cincinnati Reds pitchers, who have 12. Matt Harvey on Saturday became the first MLB pitcher since Andy Messersmith in 1976 to drive in two or more runs in three straight games.
DeGrom, a National League All-Star alongside Greinke, also limited the Dodgers to two hits and two walks in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and lowered his ERA to 2.05 with the 113-pitch no-decision. The only hits against deGrom came on two-out singles by Greinke in the third and Andre Ethier in the fifth.
Not too shabby: Greinke’s 45 2/3-inning streak was the longest in the majors since ex-Dodger Orel Hershiser tossed 59 straight scoreless innings in 1988. Hershiser was in attendance Sunday at Citi Field as part of the Dodgers’ broadcast crew.
Greinke (1.37 ERA) ultimately surrendered two runs in seven innings. He has allowed only 21 earned runs in 2015. That matches Roger Clemens in 2005 with the Houston Astros for the third-fewest earned runs through 20 starts in a season since earned runs became an official stat in 1912, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Dutch Leonard allowed 19 earned runs in his first 20 starts in 1914 with the Boston Red Sox. Bob Gibson allowed 20 earned runs in his first 20 starts in 1968 with the St. Louis Cardinals en route to a season ERA of 1.12.
Greinke began the third inning by drilling Kirk Nieuwenhuis on the right side with a pitch. Kevin Plawecki then singled to center field. When Joc Pederson failed to cleanly field the baseball, Nieuwenhuis advanced to third base on the E8. DeGrom then plated Nieuwenhuis with a slow grounder to first base. Gonzalez futilely threw to the plate rather than settling for an out at first base, although the Mets failed to further capitalize on having two baserunners aboard with none out that inning after taking the 1-0 lead.
The Mets tacked on a second run in the sixth inning. After the Mets loaded the bases with two outs, Greinke grazed Michael Conforto on the right elbow to force in a run.
What’s next: The Mets take a day off Monday, then host the San Diego Padres for three games. Noah Syndergaard (4-5, 2.97 ERA) is scheduled to face right-hander James Shields (8-3, 3.77) in Tuesday’s 7:10 p.m. ET series opener.
David Wright is expected to join the Mets in New York this week to begin baseball workouts. Steven Matz (lat strain) may be cleared to resume tossing a baseball. The non-waiver trade deadline is Friday at 4 p.m. ET.