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Dodgers Dump Mets In 9th, 7-6

The Los Angeles Dodgers got a much-needed win against a New York Mets team that isn't used to losing a lead, especially late in a game.

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."

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  • The Mets, who had been 61-1 in games when they held a lead through eight innings, had a one-run advantage heading into the final frame.

    "We just didn't close it out," Mets manager Bobby Valentine said

    Counsell's double came off reliever Chuck McElroy. Gary Sheffield's solo homer off Billy Taylor (0-1) in the ninth tied the score at 5-5.

    "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.

    Pedro Borbon (3-1) threw two pitches in the bottom of the eighth, getting Robin Ventura to fly out to earn the win.

    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.

    Trailing 4-0, the Dodgers scored their first run in the top of the fourth. Raul Mondesi, who had stretched a bloop single into a double, came around to score on Adrian Beltre's single to center.

    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.

    The Mets added a run in the bottom of the sixth when Onan Masaoka's first pitch in relief of starter Jamie Arnold was wild, and Rey Ordonez scrambled around Masaoka's attempted tag.

    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."


  • Mets right-hander Bobby Jones threw 56 pitches in a game for Double-A Binghamton. Jones has been out since May 22 with discomfort in his throwing shoulder.
  • Rickey Henderson missed his fourth straight game with a strained right hip.
  • Cedeno has a major league leading 56 stolen bases.
  • Loduca started in place of Hundley, who came into the game hitting .108 against lefties this season.
  • The Dodgers have come from behind in 21 of their 48 wins this year.

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