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07/22/10 11:29 PM ET

In LA, Mets need Johan of old

It's still too early to tell if the Dodgers and the Mets will be buying or selling in the final days leading up to next week's non-waiver Trade Deadline, so for now both teams are concentrating on one action: winning.

Following Thursday's 2-0 win by the Dodgers over the Mets, the boys in blue now trail the first-place Padres by five games in the National League West. The loss drops the Mets to third place in the NL East, 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves.

The Dodgers could use a starter and another arm in the bullpen. The Mets could use the same.

For now, each team will settle for a fine outing from their starters Friday.

Mets starter Johan Santana has allowed just two runs in his last four starts, but the pitching hasn't been the problem. The Mets have scored four runs or fewer in their last 13 games and have lost seven of their last eight.

"This is a team effort, and it's part of the game," Santana said. "We're going to struggle sometimes, we're going to do good sometimes. All I got to do is go out there and do my job and try to help to get a win. That's the way I approach the game. "

In his last outing, Dodgers starter Vicente Padilla gave up one hit in six innings against the Cardinals and is 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA since returning from the disabled list. Overall, he's 10-3 lifetime against the Mets.

"[Padilla] is throwing 50-mph curveballs. I don't think there is anyone else in the game doing that," Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday said. "He hides his fastball well, and the delivery is the same for either one. However, he has figured out how to do that, it is pretty impressive."

Mets: Bay gets a breather
Jason Bay has eight strikeouts in his last three games and was out of the lineup Friday. ... The Mets have lost four in a row and are 1-7 on the current 11-game road trip. ... The club signed former Nationals closer Chad Cordero to a Minor League deal.

Dodgers: Martin right on target
Russell Martin has thrown out 33.3 percent (18-for-54) of potential base-stealers and ranks fifth among NL catchers in that category. ... Matt Kemp has 29 multihit games, which ranks second on the club behind James Loney's 33. ... Carlos Monasterios is set to start Saturday's game against the Mets. ... The Dodgers have been linked to just about every pitcher believed on the market, from Paul Maholm to Roy Oswalt to relievers Octavio Dotel, Jason Fraser and Scott Downs.

Worth noting
The Mets have gone 4-10 at Dodger Stadium since 2007. ... The Dodgers are 9-8 in two-run games this season, including a 6-5 mark at home. The club has won consecutive 2-0 games for the first time since June 16-17, 1963, when they beat the Cubs at home and Giants on the road. ... Thursday's game marked the club's 857th consecutive game since the Dodgers' last rainout on April 17, 2000, setting a new Dodger Stadium record.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.