Batista Unravels, Mets Fall To Dodgers
NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — The Mets are facing tough times and their shorthanded roster is struggling to keep pace in the standings.
While the Mets slumped to another rough loss, the Dodgers were in high spirits — especially Juan Uribe.
Uribe pulled on his shirt, broke into a grin and said, “Hallelujah!”
He snapped out of a long slump with a homer and four RBIs, Chris Capuano pitched seven solid innings against his former team and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the staggering New York Mets 8-5 on Saturday.
“It was really great to see him get a couple of big hits tonight, especially that big one in the ninth,” Capuano said.
Uribe hit an early two-run double to end a 1-for-38 slide. He added a two-run homer in the ninth inning off 13-game winner R.A. Dickey, making his first relief appearance since April 2011 to help an overtaxed Mets bullpen.
Matt Treanor also stopped a slump with a run-scoring hit and the Dodgers won their third straight following a 1-7 skid. Matt Kemp had an RBI triple and Capuano (10-5) struck out nine for his first victory in seven career starts against the Mets.
“Pretty much the same Cap. He just kind of keeps going,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “That’s pretty much what we’ve been getting every time out.”
Los Angeles chased 41-year-old spot starter Miguel Batista (1-3) after three innings, getting into baseball’s worst bullpen early for the second consecutive game. Both times, the Dodgers built a comfortable cushion and held on at the end.
Ronny Cedeno homered for the Mets (47-47), who have lost eight of nine to fall back to .500 for the first time since they were 13-13 after play on May 4.
Before the game, the Mets put struggling ace Johan Santana on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right ankle, a move also meant to recharge his surgically repaired left shoulder.
“My shoulder is fine. I don’t have any problems with it,” Santana said. “I feel fine. It’s just that you’ve got to (have) time to recover.”
Capuano went 11-12 with a 4.55 ERA for New York last season, proving he was healthy enough to warrant a $10 million, two-year contract from the Dodgers. He came in 0-5 with a 5.86 ERA against the Mets, but held them to three runs on eight hits and a walk.
“I just had a great experience here last year, and I love the ballpark,” Capuano said. “I’ve really enjoyed coming back.”
Pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy delivered an RBI triple in the eighth off Ronald Belisario and scored on a groundout by pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis to cut New York’s deficit to 6-5.
James Loney singled with two outs in the ninth off Dickey, and Uribe drove a knuckleball to left for his second home run this season. He came off the disabled list June 11 after missing 28 games with a strained left wrist.
“Lucky today,” Uribe said about his home run. “I feel good when I help my team win the game.”
Dickey threw 111 pitches over 7 1-3 innings Thursday in Washington to improve to 13-1. Mets manager Terry Collins said Friday night he might use Dickey in relief late Saturday, his regular throw day between starts.
“I salute him for going in there. It’s certainly something he’s not used to doing, but that’s the kind of guy he is — if you need me, I’ll be there for you,” Collins said.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen walked two in the ninth before striking out Scott Hairston for his 18th save.
Batista, who pitched in relief Wednesday, took Dillon Gee’s turn and made his fifth start of the season. Gee had surgery last week to patch an artery in his pitching shoulder after a blood clot had formed there.
Working from the stretch even with the bases empty, Batista walked three batters in the first inning and gave up an RBI single to Loney.
Uribe, who began the day batting .186, hit a two-run double to right on a 1-2 pitch with two outs in the third. He also walked twice, and scored three runs for the first time since May 29, 2010.
“It was a big day for him and for us, obviously,” Mattingly said. “It’s just nice for him to feel like he’s a part of it.”
Luis Cruz added a run-scoring single to make it 4-0.
Batista was pulled for a pinch-hitter after throwing 81 pitches through three innings.
“It’s hard when you haven’t started a game in 61 days,” he said.
It marked the second consecutive game in which the Mets’ starter never even came to bat.
Johan Santana was yanked after three innings and 72 pitches Friday night. He allowed six runs and seven hits in a 7-6 loss, dropping to 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA in his past three outings — the worst stretch of his career.
Santana’s latest injury compounds the problems manager Terry Collins in facing.
“We’ve got to start getting some length out of our starters,” Collins said.
Treanor snapped an 0-for-23 drought with a two-out RBI double in the fifth off Jeremy Hefner that extended the lead to 6-2.
NOTES: Treanor started behind the plate for the second consecutive game. Dodgers C A.J. Ellis had an MRI that revealed only inflammation in his left knee. Mattingly said Ellis will play Sunday in the series finale if he’s cleared by the doctor. … RHP Chad Billingsley (elbow) felt fine after Friday’s bullpen session and is on track to start Monday night in St. Louis. … Los Angeles welcomed 96-year-old Mike Sandlock to the game. The oldest living Dodger (as well as Brave, Pirate and Phillie), Sandlock was a catcher for Brooklyn in 1945 and ’46. He was given a Brooklyn Dodgers cap by Mattingly. … The Mets are 4-11 in July. … Hefner was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo before the game. … New York will recall RHP Elvin Ramirez from Buffalo on Sunday.