For the last few innings, at least, the New York Mets looked less like a division leader and more like the hapless Mets of the early 1960s.
And the Dodgers took full advantage.
Mark Loretta scored on a throwing error by first baseman Jeremy Reed and the Dodgers nipped the Mets, 3-2, in 11 innings Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
It was the Dodgers' fifth win in the last six games, and it widened their National League West lead over the idle San Francisco Giants to 6 1/2 games.
The Dodgers (27-13) had loaded the bases with one out in the 11th inning -- partly because the Mets' outfielders misplayed a fly ball hit by Xavier Paul -- when Orlando Hudson hit a grounder to Reed, who threw wide of home plate as Loretta scored.
And in the top of the inning, the Mets (21-17) fouled up the go-ahead run when Angel Pagan hit a ball to the outfield wall that seemingly allowed Ryan Church to score from first.
But the Dodgers appealed to the umpires that Church did not touch third and the umpires agreed, calling Church out and denying the Mets the run.
All of which came after Dodgers starting pitcher Randy Wolf had his fourth consecutive strong outing but left without a decision after giving up two earned runs on six hits in 7 2/3 innings.
Reliever Ramon Troncoso (1-0) got the win, and Mets reliever Brian Stokes (1-2) took the loss.
"There was something going on today, strangest game I've ever seen, especially the last four innings," Wolf said.
Regardless, Dodgers Manager Joe Torre said Wolf had one of his best showings so far this season.
"They've been swinging the bat great," Wolf said of the Mets, "so I knew I had to get ahead of guys, throw strikes and mix my speeds."
Still, the left-hander nearly was overshadowed by Mets pitcher Tim Redding, who allowed the Dodgers only two hits in six innings in his first start of the season as the teams opened a three-game series in front of 37,136.
"He pitched a good game, he was around the plate and throwing strikes," said Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp. "He had some hard stuff today."
Both teams came into the game leading their NL divisions amid sparkling records so far in May, which for the Dodgers included a 4-2 record in their just-completed trip against the Philadelphia Phillies and Florida Marlins.
Wolf (2-1), a Canoga Park native acquired by the Dodgers this year, continued to sparkle. In his previous outing, he had held the Phillies to one run over six innings in the Dodgers' 9-2 win in Philadelphia last Wednesday.
Wolf also had beaten the Mets more than any other team in his 11-year career (with 11 wins in 16 decisions) and seemed set to add another victory.
But after Pagan doubled in the eighth inning and Wolf retired the next two batters, Wolf was replaced by reliever Cory Wade, who surrendered a single to Gary Sheffield that scored Pagan and tied the game, 2-2.
Initially, it appeared the Dodgers might make quick work of Redding, 31, who opened the season on the disabled list because of a strained rotator cuff.
But after allowing the Dodgers two runs and one hit in the first inning, Redding settled down and didn't give up another hit until Orlando Hudson's single with two out in the fifth inning. That extended Hudson's hitting streak to nine games.
Los Angeles Times