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Three errors set up six unearned runs as Mets lose, 8-3

Los Angeles Dodgers' Dee Gordon, right, scores on

Los Angeles Dodgers' Dee Gordon, right, scores on an error by New York Mets catcher Mike Nickeas, left in the seventh inning. (July 1, 2012) Credit: AP

LOS ANGELES -- Most of what Terry Collins has touched this season has turned to gold. But that didn't happen Sunday night at Dodger Stadium.

Collins put his righthanded lineup in against Dodgers lefthander Clayton Kershaw -- who had held lefthanded batters to a .209 average -- for the final game of the road trip. But errors by Ronny Cedeño, Justin Turner and Mike Nickeas led to six unearned runs as the Dodgers beat the Mets, 8-3.

The Mets started the trip with two stinkers in Chicago, including an opening loss in which they made three errors in one inning. They then won four in a row before Sunday night's defeat.

"We didn't play good tonight," Collins said. "Dillon [Gee] pitched fine. We didn't help him."

With the Mets leading 3-1, Cedeño and Turner -- playing the right side of the infield instead of Daniel Murphy and Ike Davis -- committed errors in the Dodgers' tying two-run fifth inning.

The Dodgers then took a 4-3 lead with a clean run in the sixth on James Loney's RBI groundout before scoring four unearned runs in the seventh.

Nickeas, starting at catcher instead of Josh Thole, let a throw from Miguel Batista on a potential inning-ending double-play ball bounce off his glove, allowing two runs to score and opening the door for two more.

"The throw was very much under control for me," Nickeas said. "I should catch that ball every time."

The Dodgers had lost seven in a row and 11 of 12 and had been shut out in five of their previous six games. Their lead in the sixth was their first in 66 innings.

Gee (5-7) was charged with four runs (two earned) in six innings. Kershaw (6-4) was charged with three runs (one earned) in seven innings.

"Just a tough ballgame today," Gee said. "But at the same time, we had a good series. Hopefully, we don't look at this as a setback."

The score was tied at 3 after five innings as both teams gave away a pair of runs because of infield errors.

The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the first on Scott Hairston's two-out RBI single. He was thrown out trying to take second, the second Met to be erased on the bases in the inning. Andres Torres had been picked off first by Kershaw (officially scored a caught stealing). It was the fourth time in the series that Torres made an out on the bases.

So four of the five Mets to bat in the inning reached base but they scored only one run.

"As the inning was over, I said, 'We could have been up 3-0 here against this guy,' " Collins said. "That for sure hurt us."

Entering the game, the Dodgers had been held scoreless in 56 of their previous 57 innings. The Mets had not allowed a run in 23 innings, their fourth scoreless streak of at least 20 innings this year. But Los Angeles tied it in the first on Juan Rivera's two-out RBI double to right.

The Mets scored two in the third thanks to a pair of errors by shortstop Dee Gordon. First he threw away the back end of a potential 4-6-3 double-play grounder hit by David Wright as Gee scored to make it 2-1. Hairston followed with a routine grounder that Gordon one-hopped to first for error No. 2. Wright steamed around third and beat Loney's throw standing up for a 3-1 Mets lead.

But the Mets gave it back in the fifth as Los Angeles scored two without a hit. Tony Gwynn Jr. hit what should have been a 5-4-3 double-play ball, but Cedeño dropped Wright's throw for an error. Turner later bobbled Gordon's chopper for another error as a run scored. A.J. Ellis' sacrifice fly made it 3-3.

Notes & quotes: The Mets will host postgame fireworks when they return home Tuesday night against the Phillies.

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