Mets third baseman David Wright connects for a solo home run against the… (Victor Decolongon / Getty…)
Even on a night when the Dodgers received encouraging reports on Andre Ethier and snapped that dreadful scoreless skid, the news still managed to be bad.
They are no longer the first-place Dodgers.
The Dodgers managed a couple of runs but still suffered their fifth consecutive loss and ninth in their last 10 games, falling 3-2 to the Mets on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium before an announced crowd of 49,006.
With the Giants defeating the Reds, 5-0, on Thursday, the Dodgers were knocked out of first place in the National League West for the first time since the fifth game of the season.
The Dodgers, who once led the West by 7 1/2 games, now trail the Giants by one game. The five-game losing streak matches their longest of the year.
Considering their spiral, the day started well enough when an MRI exam of the oblique that Ethier strained on Wednesday showed minimal swelling and he was not placed on the disabled list. The Dodgers will give him a couple of days to see how he responds, and he might yet go on the DL, but considered the report a best-case scenario for his injury.
The end of the Dodgers’ embarrassing streak happened Thursday at 8:06 p.m., when they placed a pair of hits around center fielder Andres Torres.
Dee Gordon led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a double off right-hander Chris Young that fell in front of Torres, who was playing fairly deep. Elian Herrera followed with a drive over the head of a shallow-playing Torres and legged it out for a triple.
Which brought home Gordon in the form of that long, lost friend –- a run.
That ended the Dodgers’ scoreless streak at 33 consecutive innings, fifth longest in franchise history. Their all-time scoreless streak of 41 consecutive innings, set in 1908, remained safe for another day.
Juan Rivera followed Herrera with a run-scoring single to center, and the Dodgers had a profusion of runs to tie the score at 2-2.
Which was pretty much the end of the Dodgers’ offense. Of course, this was a lineup that featured a cleanup hitter (James Loney) who had been benched the previous three games and a fifth hitter (Scott Van Slyke) just called up from triple-A Albuquerque in the morning.
Together they combined to go 0 for 8, leaving Loney without a hit in his last 22 at-bats. When he bounced out in his final at-bat, he was greeted with boos.
The Mets opened the scoring against Chris Capuano, who spent last season as their teammate, with a run in the first inning. Ruben Tejada singled to left field and scored on a David Wright double past Herrera at third.
Wright made it a 2-0 New York lead in the top of the fourth inning when he hit a solo home run half way up the left-field pavilion. It was his ninth homer of the season.
After the Dodgers shocked the Mets with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning, New York quickly regained the lead in the sixth. Catcher Mike Nickeas singled, was sacrificed to second by Young and scored when Torres doubled down the right-field line.