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Matt Harvey struggles for Mets with bloody nose in 4-3 loss to Dodgers

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LOS ANGELES — Matt Harvey was bowed by the Los Angeles Dodgers and then bloodied.

The New York Mets ace allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings of a 4-3 loss Saturday night, when he had a bloody nose while dropping his second straight start.

Harvey didn't complete at least six innings for the second time this season and tied a career-high with five walks. He struck out four.

"Going only five innings is unacceptable for me," he said. "I just had a tough time finding a rhythm. After the first inning, I was pretty amped up and felt good. Then all of a sudden everything got out of whack and I couldn't find the strike zone, so it was a battle."

Zack Greinke scattered four hits over seven scoreless innings to outduel Harvey, Adrian Gonzalez hit a solo homer and the Dodgers survived their shaky bullpen to split the first two games of the series.

Harvey (7-6) got in bases-loaded jams in the second, third and fifth innings. His ERA ballooned to 3.11.

"Things could have gone a lot further south than they did," he said. "It just happened that I somewhat kept the game within reach."

The Mets closed to 4-2 with two outs in the eighth on Lucas Duda's RBI double and Wilmer Flores' RBI single after three Dodger relievers gave up a combined four hits. Pedro Baez, who allowed Flores' hit, gave up a sacrifice fly to Juan Lagares in the ninth that made it 4-3.

Harvey said his bloody nose wasn't a big deal, having had it happen in a game two years ago. He said the issue has been with him since he was a youngster.

"He had to work hard," 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. But you look up and there's not a lot of damage. We were still in it."

PHOTO: New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey throws to the plate during the second inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Saturday, July 4, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey throws to the plate during the second inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Saturday, July 4, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Greinke (7-2) extended his scoreless streak to 27 2/3 innings while striking out four and walking none. He had a two-out single in the fourth inning, too.

J.P. Howell got the final out for his first save since June 12, 2011.

The Dodgers extended their lead to 3-0 with two runs in the fifth. Gonzalez's 15th homer landed in the pavilion in right field with one out before Alberto Callaspo's RBI single drove in Yasmani Grandal, who singled.

Jimmy Rollins' RBI groundout to first base put Los Angeles ahead 1-0 in the second, when Harvey walked two. He walked two more batters in the third, when the Dodgers failed to score after loading the bases.

Greinke, whose 1.48 ERA leads the majors, retired 11 of 12 batters in his final stretch, with the only exception being Lagares who reached on a strikeout wild pitch.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mets: OF Michael Cuddyer, who struck out as a pinch-hitter Friday after missing two games with a sore left knee, entered the game in a double switch in the eighth. Initially, Collins had said he would rest Cuddyer another day as a precaution.

HOT-HITTING FLORES

Flores had three hits for the second straight game, tying a career high. He has hit safely in six of his last seven road games, batting .435 with a double and three RBIs since June 20.

UP NEXT

Mets: LHP Steven Matz (1-0, 2.35 ERA) starts the series finale a week after winning his major league debut against Cincinnati. He went 3 for 3 with four RBIs in his debut, joining Dwight Gooden as the only Mets pitchers to have three hits and four RBIs in one game.

Dodgers: RHP Mike Bolsinger (4-2, 2.76) will make his first career start against the Mets. He is 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA in five starts at home this season, limiting opponents to a .185 batting average.

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