LOS ANGELES (AP) — The New York Mets played a sloppy game in the field and were just as dreadful at the plate.
After Curtis Granderson led off the game with a home run, the Mets managed only two harmless singles in seven innings against Dan Haren during a 6-2 loss Friday night to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The lack of offense didn’t make things any easier for Jonathon Niese, whose teammates tied a season-high with four errors.
“Those things are out of my control,” Niese said. “Games like this are frustrating, but I think I can speak for everybody that it was the type of game where you just want to put it behind us and forget about it.”
Niese (7-9) allowed five runs – two earned – eight hits, and three walks in 6 2-3 innings. The unearned runs were the result of a throwing error by shortstop Wilmer Flores on a routine grounder by Adrian Gonzalez.
“It’s part of the game, A lot of us have had bad days, and we’ve all been there,” Niese said. “I mean, I’ve made a ton of errors that have cost us games. So you can’t point the finger at (Flores). If I struck out Gonzalez, then he wouldn’t have had to make that play. So it’s on my shoulders.”
Flores also committed a fielding error on a grounder by Yasiel Puig in the fifth. The Mets made two more miscues in the eighth, one by third baseman David Wright on a hard grounder by pinch-hitter Andre Ethier, the other by first baseman Lucas Duda on a foul pop by Puig.
“We had a bad night tonight. It happens,” manager Terry Collins said. “When you look up and you have as many errors as you’ve got hits, that’s not a good feeling. We looked a little ragged, but that shouldn’t affect us.”
The Dodgers got their first two batters on in the third inning before Haren bunted into a double play started by Niese. But Dee Gordon slapped an opposite-field RBI single inside third to tie it at 1.
Haren came up again in the fifth with runners at the corners, and tried a suicide squeeze. Haren bunted through an 0-1 pitch, and Justin Turner was erased in a rundown at third. Haren then singled to drive in Erisbel Arruebarrena and give Los Angeles a 2-1 lead.
“Man, I almost made four outs in two at-bats,” Haren said. “I haven’t done a squeeze in a long time – since probably spring training – and I just got a little antsy with it.”
Gordon hit his major league-leading 11th triple with two outs in the seventh and scored on Flores’ second error of the game. Carlos Torres relieved Niese, and Matt Kemp greeted him with a two-run double to make it 5-1.
Until then, Mets relievers had stranded 132 of 166 inherited runners (79.5 percent), the best in the majors.
“We’ve done a good job there. But Matt Kemp’s a pretty good hitter, so you’ve got to make pitches,” Collins said. “He left a ball out over the plate.”
Haren (11-10) allowed a run and three hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking none. The victory was his third in four starts after going 0-5 with a 10.03 ERA in his previous five outings.
Granderson homered on the third pitch of the game. It was his fourth leadoff homer this season and 28th of his career.
Haren, a three-time All-Star, has now allowed a homer in 17 of his last 19 starts, and 25 all together.
“I was really mad. Kind of a stupid pitch to Granderson,” Haren said. “He’s not your typical leadoff hitter, he’s got a lot of power and I kind of laid one in there. I got a couple of outs after that and then really settled in pretty good.”
Mets: Closer Jenrry Mejia, who was held back from a save situation Wednesday at Oakland because of a sore back, was the first Mets player out on the field to do running and was available if needed, Collins said.
Dodgers: There have been no setbacks in the rehab programs for SS Hanley Ramirez (right oblique), 3B Juan Uribe (right hamstring), LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (right hip), and LHP Paco Rodriguez (back). Ramirez could be activated from the DL on Sunday.
Mets: Rookie Jacob deGrom (6-5, 2.87 ERA) will be reinstated from the disabled list and make his first start since Aug. 7, after being sidelined with rotator cuff tendinitis. He gave up three home runs to the Dodgers in a 4-3 home loss on May 21, but has yielded just one homer in 69 1-3 innings over his last 11 starts. He is 5-0 with a 1.55 ERA in his last six outings.
Dodgers: Zack Greinke (12-8, 2.75 ERA) pitches on seven days’ rest after being pushed back two days because of elbow discomfort. He will try to avoid losing three consecutive decisions for the first time since June 8, 2010, with Kansas City, when he dropped four starts in a row.