Capuano, Uribe lead Dodgers past Mets

Capuano, Uribe lead Dodgers past Mets

Capuano, Uribe lead Dodgers past Mets
NEW YORK -- The Dodgers enjoyed run production on Saturday from corner infielders Juan Uribe and James Loney, an event so rare that the front office has been working overtime trying to replace them.

But in an 8-5 win over the Mets, Uribe had (for him) a month's worth of production -- a homer, double, two walks, four RBIs and three runs scored. Loney had two hits, an RBI and a run scored, as the Dodgers got a reprieve from a steady diet of former Cy Young Award winners, chasing Mets 41-year-old journeyman starter Miguel Batista after three innings (they did the same to Johan Santana on Friday night) and hanging on for the win.

All of the Dodgers' runs scored with two outs, three of the rallies starting with two outs and none on.

"Those are backbreakers," said manager Don Mattingly, who spent his post game being briefed on trade talks by general manager Ned Colletti.

While the Mets' rotation and bullpen are so shredded that All-Star starter R.A. Dickey had to pitch the ninth inning in relief, the Dodgers got seven innings from their starter, Chris Capuano. He became the first on the staff to 10 wins and for the first time beat the Mets, the team he left as a free agent to sign with the Dodgers. He had 11 wins all last year. The Mets have lost eight of their last nine.

"We really jumped on them early and grinded out nice at-bats," said Capuano. "It made for long innings in the dugout, but I just tried to keep the energy up."

The Mets made a game of it, scoring twice off Ronald Belisario in the eighth, but Uribe answered with his two-run shot in the ninth off Dickey. Kenley Jansen wobbled to his 18th save after issuing a pair of two-out walks in the ninth.

It wasn't one of Capuano's easiest outings, as he pitched ahead in most counts, but had difficulty putting hitters away. Capuano was either ahead in the count or had two strikes on seven Mets that reached base, including Ronny Cedeno, who homered in the sixth.

"I tried to be aggressive, get ahead of hitters, nothing out of the ordinary -- and for the most part, I did that," Capuano said. "The third and fourth innings were a real battle. They had good at-bats, but I got through without too much damage."

Capuano raised his record to 10-5 with an ERA of 2.81, striking out nine with one walk. The night before, Aaron Harang won his seventh game, giving the Dodgers 17 wins from the pair signed for less than it would have cost to keep Hiroki Kuroda.

"It's hard to say I expected 10 wins right after the break," Mattingly said of Capuano. "But if you don't have experienced guys, he'll spin you in circles. Young teams have trouble with him, and this year he's giving everybody trouble.

Uribe has been working with hitting coach Dave Hansen on keeping his head still during his swing -- instead of spinning off. He's been successful during batting practice, but failing to take it into the game. Until this game.

"That's the way I hit right now," said Uribe, who raised his average to only .196 with his second homer of the year. "I'm in position to hit to right field [where the double went]. I worked today on seeing the ball to right field.

"Today was a good day, a beautiful day to help my team. I feel good when I help the team. It's more important to win the game."

Maybe so, but teammates felt good for Uribe, having watched his two-year, injury-riddled struggle since joining the Dodgers.

"I'm so happy for him," said Capuano. "He's always smiling and playing great defense, busts his butt, and it's great to see him get hits like the one in the ninth."

"It was a big day for [Uribe] and for us," said Mattingly. "I knew he matched up well with Batista [9-for-32 with six walks coming in]. It's nice for him to feel like he's a part of it. He feels like he's let a lot of guys down. It's nice for him to come through and help win a game."

"It was just a knuckleball that stayed up and he hit it," Dickey said of Uribe's homer. "It was probably the only poor one I threw all inning."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.