Familia falters in 9th again, Mets lose 4-2 to Dodgers
NEW YORK (AP) No sooner had the New York Mets climbed out of a hole against Clayton Kershaw than Jeurys Familia put them right back in a bind.
That normally dependable arm at the back of their bullpen was no such thing against the Dodgers.
Adrian Gonzalez broke a ninth-inning tie with a two-run single off a suddenly struggling Familia, sending Los Angeles past New York 4-2 on Sunday night.
Curtis Granderson hit a tying triple for the Mets immediately after Kershaw was lifted with two outs in the eighth. But the Dodgers quickly regrouped for their sixth victory in seven games since losing four straight.
Familia blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning of the series opener only to get bailed out by Granderson's game-winning homer. This time, the reliever wasn't so fortunate.
''He's one of the best in baseball. This is very uncharacteristic of him ever since he's taken over the closing job. So we're in as big a shock as anybody,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Familia (2-1) allowed more runs in his last two outings against the Dodgers (six) than he previously had all season (five).
''I feel good. My arm is good. I'm just trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong,'' Familia said.
Los Angeles took two of three at Citi Field before a trio of sellout crowds on a weekend when the NL champion Mets celebrated the 30th anniversary of their 1986 World Series crown.
The Dodgers won the season series 4-3 after New York captured a tense, five-game playoff between the teams in October.
Kershaw struck out 10, walked none and capped a magnificent May with another sublime performance. He was in position to win his sixth consecutive start when manager Dave Roberts made a double-switch with a runner on first in the eighth, pulling Kershaw after 114 pitches.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2014 NL MVP didn't look happy about it, handing the ball to Roberts and briskly walking off the mound without appearing to make much eye contact.
''It's a tough situation. That's why I'm not the manager,'' Kershaw said. ''I think managers appreciate when you don't want to come out of the game and obviously I didn't want to and never really do. But you know what? He's making the decisions and you've just got to respect it.''
Roberts went to lefty Adam Liberatore, who had limited left-handed batters to a .107 average this season (3 for 28). But the move backfired when Granderson hit an RBI triple to the right-field fence over a leaping Yasiel Puig.
''I made the decision and I've got to live with it,'' Roberts said. ''I believe in the other guys, too.''
Liberatore (1-0) struck out Asdrubal Cabrera, who homered earlier off Kershaw, to end the inning.
Kike Hernandez, who entered in the double-switch, singled leading off the ninth, and Familia loaded the bases with consecutive one-out walks. Gonzalez, who had three RBIs, pulled his hands in on a 98 mph pitch and fought it off enough to send a soft single over second base.
''It's a little tough for me, but at the same time I understand I'm not perfect,'' Familia said. ''We make mistakes in this game. Every time we're not going to be great. Some days we're going to have bad games and you just try to move forward.''
Kenley Jansen worked a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 17 chances.
Gonzalez had an RBI single and ex-Met Justin Turner drove in Chase Utley with a groundout to help the Dodgers build a 2-0 lead against Bartolo Colon, who pitched six solid innings in his first outing since his 43rd birthday.
Gonzalez went 8 for 13 (.615) in the series with a homer, four RBIs and three runs. He is hitting .336 in his career against the Mets, the highest mark for any active player vs. New York.
Mets: Wilmer Flores (hamstring) was activated from the disabled list and played third base in place of captain David Wright, who missed his second consecutive game with a neck problem. Wright, who has homered in his last three games, was scheduled to be examined by doctors again and is not expected to play Monday, either. He was given anti-inflammatory medicine and will be re-examined in 48 hours, Collins said. ... RHP Noah Syndergaard could be available out of the bullpen Tuesday night against the White Sox before he makes his next scheduled start Friday in Miami, Collins said. Syndergaard threw only 34 pitches Saturday, when he was ejected in the third inning for firing a 99 mph fastball behind Utley.
Mets RHP Matt Harvey (3-7, 6.08 ERA) tries again to get back on track when he faces the skidding White Sox in a Memorial Day matinee at Citi Field, weather permitting. AL ERA leader Jose Quintana (5-4, 2.22) pitches for Chicago, which has dropped six straight and 14 of 18.