LOS ANGELES -- Jacob deGrom was cruising along, having faced one over the minimum through three innings Saturday night in his first start back from the DL. Juan Lagares also staked him to a 3-0 lead with a home run in the fourth.
That’s right about when the wheels started to come off. DeGrom walked the first batter he faced in the bottom of the fourth and eventually allowed two runs.
It got worse the next inning when Adrian Gonzalez demolished a 96 mph fastball left up in the zone for a three-run shot to help the Dodgers to a 7-4 victory at Dodger Stadium.
DeGrom finished with six innings and five runs allowed. He struck out seven and issued two walks, both to Carl Crawford, who scored both times.
Working strategy: It used to be unheard of to even think about walking someone to get to David Wright, but that’s exactly what the Dodgers did with Eric Young Jr. on second base and two outs in the seventh inning.
Zack Greinke nibbled to Daniel Murphy with the first two pitches before going to the intentional walk to put two on for Wright. Greinke struck out Wright swinging to escape the jam as he was on the verge of being pulled from the game.
Wright left six men on base Saturday, and he has two hits in his past 29 plate appearances. So you can understand why the Dodgers would walk Murphy, who is hitting .300 this season, to face a struggling Wright.
Offensive effort: While deGrom’s night on the mound was less than stellar, he contributed a double and a single to raise his average to .278, highly respectable for a pitcher.
Blown opportunity: The Mets put themselves in position to get to Greinke in the fifth after tagging him for three runs in the fourth. DeGrom singled to start the inning and Murphy singled two batters later to put men on first and third.
Greinke got Wright to hit a ground ball to third, but Miguel Rojas’ throw to second took Dee Gordon off the bag. Gordon recovered for the out, but in avoiding a sliding Murphy, his throw to first was wide. Adrian Gonzalez scooped the throw in the dirt and fell but dragged his foot across the bag for the second out to complete a highlight-worthy double play.
Mets manager Terry Collis went out to argue and possibly challenge the out at first, but his bench gave him the thumbs down as it received word that the double play held up under review.
What’s next: Bartolo Colon (11-10, 3.85 ERA) returns from the bereavement list following the death of his mother in the Dominican Republic last week. Colon last pitched Aug. 13 and allowed one earned run over seven innings against Washington. The Mets face Kevin Correia (7-13, 4.87).