LOS ANGELES -- When the National League's hottest pitcher met the game's coldest offense on Saturday, the result was as advertised. Zack Greinke delivered seven shutout innings to extend his scoreless streak in a 4-3 Dodgers win over Matt Harvey and the Mets.
Though Greinke ran into trouble several times early, he turned dominant in the middle innings at Dodger Stadium, retiring the final seven batters he faced. His 27 2/3-inning scoreless streak is the league's second-longest active run, trailing only Rangers pitcher Yovani Gallardo's 29 1/3-inning stretch.
"Zack's got the weapons, he does his homework and he's able to execute," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "It's really as simple as that."
The Dodgers took advantage of a career-high five walks from Harvey to tag him for three runs in five innings, one of them on Adrian Gonzalez's second homer of the series. Harvey was inefficient from the start in his second consecutive loss, needing 100 pitches to record 15 outs.
The Mets also did little to help him until Greinke left the game. Rallies in the eighth and ninth allowed them to avert scoring fewer than three runs for the 14th time in 16 games, though the Mets stranded three men on base over the final two innings. Dodgers reliever J.P. Howell entered with two outs in the ninth, striking out Curtis Granderson to end things.
"Against a guy like [Greinke], three runs is too many," Harvey said. "Only going five isn't acceptable. For me, it had nothing to do with who I was facing. It was just about finding a rhythm, and I wasn't able to do that."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gonzalez homers, but Dodgers strand three: Gonzalez padded the Dodgers' early lead with a solo homer in the fifth inning off Harvey, his second homer in two nights. The Dodgers scored another that inning on Alberto Callaspo's RBI single, then loaded the bases with two outs. But Greinke swung through a 95-mph fastball on a 3-1 count, before flying out to leave them loaded.
Finish strong: Greinke didn't allow a runner to reach third base in his outing and was particularly dominant as the game went on. Greinke didn't allow a hit in his last three innings, with the only Mets baserunner coming via a wild pitch on a strikeout. The effort lowered his league-leading ERA to 1.48. More >
Taking a walk: Harvey's control issues gave the Dodgers plenty of early life. The Mets right-hander walked the leadoff man in the second inning, then gave up a double and another walk to load the bases. The Dodgers eventually scored their first run on a Jimmy Rollins groundout, though the damage would have been worse had Callaspo not hit into a bases-loaded fielder's choice, the out coming at home.
"He had to work hard today," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "It's all about command, no matter how good your stuff is, and he didn't command it like he normally does." More >
Late life: Once Greinke left the game, the Mets rallied with consecutive RBI hits from Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores in the eighth. But pinch-hitter John Mayberry Jr. flied out against Pedro Baez to strand the potential tying runs on base. The Mets added another run on a sacrifice fly from Juan Lagares in the ninth, but Granderson struck out to end the game.
"I actually felt pretty confident [of the bullpen] today, especially when J.P. came in," Greinke said. "It seems like the bigger the situation, the better he does." More >
WHAT'S NEXT Mets: Seven days removed from his big league debut, Steven Matz will make his second career start in Sunday's 4:10 p.m. ET series finale at Dodger Stadium. Matz thrived in his debut last weekend at Citi Field, giving up two runs in 7 2/3 innings and driving home four.
Dodgers: The Dodgers will have Mike Bolsinger take the mound in the final game of the three-game series. Bolsinger lasted four innings in his last start before being pulled due to food poisoning. Bolsinger is 4-1 at home this season, compared to an 0-1 record away from Dodger Stadium.