Craig Counsell's two-out double in the top of the ninth helped Dodgers overcome a four-run deficit to earn a 7-6 win over the Mets on Saturday night.
"That was obviously the big play of the game right there," Dodgers manager Davey Johnson said. "We need every win we can get."
"We just didn't close it out," Mets manager Bobby Valentine said
"Well, he (McElroy) fell behind in the count," Counsell said. "I just got a good pitch to hit a fastball and I did what I could with it."
The loss broke the Mets' six-game winning streak and gave the Dodgers just their third win in nine games. New York leads the NL East by one-half game over Atlanta.
In the Dodgers ninth, Raul Mondesi walked and Adrian Beltre was walked intentionally before Taylor was relieved by Chuck McElroy to face Todd Hundley. The Dodgers pulled a double steal on a 1-1 pitch to Hundley, who then flew out to bring up Counsell.
Jeff Shaw got the final three outs for his 23rd save.
Roger Cedeno led off the ninth with a single and after Edgardo Alfonzo reached on an error by Sheffield, who dropped a ball in right, John Olerud hit an RBI single to bring the Mets within one. But with runners on first and third, Shaw got Mike Piazza to ground into a double play, and Alfonzo was forced to hold at third.
"He (Piazza) is the kind of guy who does most of his damage on balls away from the plate," Shaw said. "So, I was thinking I have to try to come inside on this guy and get him to hit the ball on the ground."
"He (Shaw) made some good pitches against me," Piazza said. "And he got me to hit his pitch."
Pinch hitter Benny Agbayani then grounded out to end it.
Mets starter Al Leiter allowed four runs and 11 hits in 7 2-3 innings, walking two and striking out four. Leiter struck out a career-high 15 against the Cubs last Sunday.
The Dodgers pulled within 4-3 in the fifth. Vizcaino led off with a single and later scored when Shawon Dunston overthrew home plate on Mondesi's single to left. Eric Karros, who had walked, scored on Beltre's sacrifice fly.
"Leiter was tough against us, but we kept battling and battling," Johnson said.
Piazza went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Mets.
Dodgers rookie catcher Paul LoDuca was 2-for-3, including his first major league homer.
Loduca, who had been hitting .051 in his 39 previous at-bats, homered to left on Leiter's first pitch in the eighth to make it 5-4.
The Mets sent nine men to the plate against Arnold in the first and took a 3-0 lead. With runners on first and third, Matt Franco's two-run double to left scored Alfonzo and Piazza.
Arnold, a rookie, allowed five runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings. He retired 11 in a row following Piazza's double in the second.
"It's hard to be successful when you're pitching from behind like I was the first couple innings," Arnold said. "I just told myself to go after these guys, and after the second inning, it worked."
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