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Juan Uribe's walk-off hit has Mets thinking pennant race

New York Mets third baseman Juan Uribe, No.

New York Mets third baseman Juan Uribe, No. 2, celebrates his walk-off single to deep center with teammates after a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, July 26, 2015, at Citi Field. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Suddenly, the Mets are all-in on what the standings confirm is a pennant race.

That thought overpowered Sunday's marquee matchup between Zack Greinke, who had his scoreless-innings streak halted at 45 2/3 innings, and Jacob deGrom, who pitched more than well enough to win but had no problem taking a no-decision.

The malaise of losing has been swept away. Call it the trade wins.

With newly acquired Juan Uribe providing the winning hit in the 10th, the Mets beat the Dodgers, 3-2, at Citi Field to split the four-game series and found reason to re-enter the postseason conversation.

"Washington lost,'' Uribe said of the NL East-leading Nationals, who are two games ahead of the Mets. "You see the team that you are fighting for the division and they lose, you have to win.''

Uribe, with a championship resume that includes two World Series rings, said his hit felt like "when you play in the playoffs and you win it.''

Said Terry Collins, "With what we've had to battle, we're still in the hunt, and I think as we start to get healthier and with these new additions, I think we got a shot to certainly play in October.''

After the Dodgers tied the score with two runs in the ninth off Jeurys Familia, Curtis Granderson began the 10th by stretching a single into a double. He was thinking two bases out of the box on his drive to right-center. "Let the defense try and stop me,'' he said. "Let's roll the dice and see if we can be successful making it into second base.''

After Ruben Tejada failed to bunt Granderson to third and Juan Nicasio intentionally walked Daniel Murphy, Kenley Jansen was brought in to face Uribe, who entered the game in the eighth as a pinch hitter.

Uribe's drive hit the centerfield fence -- Collins thought it was going to clear it -- and Granderson scored easily.

The extra innings became necessary when Familia gave away a 2-0 lead in the ninth. With one out, he surrendered doubles by Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner, and Yasmani Grandal's opposite-field single past Uribe tied the score.

DeGrom, who allowed two hits and struck out eight in 72/3 innings and lowered his ERA to 2.05, became instrumental in ending Greinke's scoreless streak. With Kirk Nieuwenhuis on third after centerfielder Joc Pederson misplayed Kevin Plawecki's single, deGrom chopped a grounder to Gonzalez at first. Nieuwenhuis broke for the plate and beat Gonzalez's slightly high throw.

"Once he chopped it in there, it was a good spot,'' Nieuwenhuis said of deGrom's grounder. "I thought I could make it. It wasn't super-hard-hit. Thought I could get in there and did. It was a little bit closer than I thought it was going to be, but I knew I was safe.''

DeGrom, the latest Mets pitcher to have a productive at-bat, said: "It felt good. I knew it was going to be a close game. They gave me the green light to swing and I wanted to try to put a ball in play and get a run in.''

With the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, Greinke hit Michael Conforto with a pitch to make it 2-0.

Greinke, who has a 1.37 ERA, had not been scored upon since June 13 against San Diego. "If anything, I feel negative about it, having to deal with answering questions about it all the time," he told reporters.

DeGrom was denied a victory but did not seem to care. "What we're here to do is win baseball games,'' he said. "And that's what we did today.''

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