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MIL@NYM: Batista shuts out the Brewers over seven

Looking to replace Dillon Gee in their starting rotation, the Mets will send journeyman right-hander Miguel Batista to the mound on Saturday against the Dodgers instead of promoting righty Matt Harvey, who was ranked by as the club's No. 2 prospect entering the season.

"Miguel Batista has done a good job when he's started," manager Terry Collins said. "You go back and look at his starts -- not only last year, but this year -- and he's been really effective. If tomorrow night he pitches like he's been pitching and is capable of pitching, I can see him being a big part of our rotation."

Batista -- 1-2 with a 4.33 ERA -- will be making his first start since May 19. Among his four starts this year, Batista was at his best on May 14 against the Brewers, whom he held scoreless on four hits in seven innings.

With seven losses in their last eight games, the Mets are 7 1/2 games back of the first-place Nationals in the National League East and four games back in the NL Wild Card hunt.

"We've got to grind this thing out, because that's how we got to this point," Collins said. "This is an important part of it where this thing could go flat, and we're not going to let it."

Former Mets lefty Chris Capuano will start for the Dodgers, who have lost seven of their last 10 games and seen their lead in the NL West turn into a 2 1/2-game deficit. Capuano -- 9-5 with a 2.75 ERA -- is vying for his 10th win of the year, which would give him 10 or more wins for the fifth time in his eight-year career.

The lefty gave up three runs over seven innings in a losing effort against the Mets on June 28.

Mets: Baxter not close to return
Outfielder Mike Baxter, on the disabled list since early June, is "a ways out yet" from a return, Collins said on Thursday.

Baxter was 8-for-18 with five doubles as a pinch-hitter before he suffered a displaced right collarbone while crashing into Citi Field's left-field wall to preserve Johan Santana's no-hitter on June 1.

Collins wants Baxter to notch at least 25-30 Minor League at-bats before he rejoins the Mets. Thus far, he has recorded 19.

Dodgers: Kemp sizzling since All-Star break
Since returning from a recurring left hamstring injury after the All-Star break, Matt Kemp has recorded nine hits and 11 RBIs.

"I feel really, really good," Kemp said. "My legs are getting under me, and I'm getting my timing back."

Worth noting
• Mets rookie Jordany Valdespin hit his fourth pinch-hit homer of the year in Friday night's 7-6 loss.

• Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy went 4-for-5 with an RBI on Friday night, recording his third four-hit game of the season. Comments