Mets fall to the Dodgers again

May 19, 2009 10:22:58 PM PDT
Casey Blake hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off John Maine in the sixth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers scored earlier with the help of another New York Mets error in a 5-3 victory Tuesday night. Chad Billingsley (6-1) struck out seven in 6 1-3 innings for the win. He also hit an RBI double, helping the NL West champions improve their major league-best record to 28-13 and extend their division lead over San Francisco to 7½ games.

Dodgers second baseman Orlando Hudson bruised his left shoulder diving for a bloop single by Jose Reyes in the seventh and had to leave the game.

Reyes' hit put runners at first and second with two outs. Gary Sheffield, fighting a slight virus, grounded out to backup second baseman Juan Castro as a pinch-hitter for Daniel Murphy after lefty reliever Brent Leach was replaced by fellow rookie Ronald Belisario.

Cory Wade pitched a scoreless eighth and Jonathan Broxton retired the side in order in the ninth for his 10th save in 12 attempts.

Billingsley allowed three runs, four hits and five walks.

Maine (3-3) gave up five runs - four earned - and nine hits over 5 1-3 innings. The right-hander, who was 3-0 with a 2.19 ERA over his previous four starts, took a 3-1 lead into the sixth. But James Loney and Matt Kemp hit one-out singles, and Blake hit his ninth homer into the left-field pavilion - just two pitches after pitching coach Dan Warthen went out for a chat with Maine.

Maine gave himself a 2-1 lead in the second, lining a two-run single to center with the bases loaded after Billingsley intentionally walked Jeremy Reed with two outs and followed that with a walk to Omir Santos.

The Mets tacked on another run in the third on an RBI single by David Wright that extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

Billingsley's RBI double trimmed New York's lead to 3-2 in the fourth, after a two-out single by Blake, who was back at third base after missing two games because of tightness in his left hamstring.

The Mets, who committed five errors in Monday night's 11-inning loss, were at it again in the first when a liner to left field by leadoff man Juan Pierre glanced off the glove of a charging Murphy.

Pierre scored on Hudson's single - the 20th unearned run given up by Mets pitchers in 39 games.

Notes: Reyes returned to the lineup after missing five starts with stiffness in his right calf. ... The Mets have committed 32 errors, the third-highest total in the majors behind Washington (41) and Seattle (34). ... Hudson is the only Dodgers player to start all 41 games. ... RHP Jeff Weaver will start Wednesday night's series finale for the Dodgers instead of LHP Eric Stults, who was scratched because of a sprained thumb on his pitching hand. He was injured while fielding a bunt last Friday at Florida. ... Dodgers C Russell Martin does not have a home run this season in 129 at-bats.

His overall drought is 134 at-bats since his last one on Sept. 26, as a pinch-hitter against Brian Wilson at San Francisco. The last time Martin homered in a game he started was Aug. 23 at Philadelphia.