07/24/10 3:41 PM ET
Offenses have to go through Dickey, Kershaw
By John Schlegel / MLB.com
The Dodgers left the bases loaded in the 12th, but James Loney's solo homer in the 13th provided for a 3-2 Dodgers victory, setting up Sunday's finale of a four-game set between struggling contenders.
In a battle of opposites, the Dodgers will have to face the fluttering knuckleball of R.A. Dickey, and the Mets will be up against hard-charging young lefty Clayton Kershaw, whose suspension from his plunking of the Giants' Aaron Rowand in his last start is pending.
They won't make it easy on these two struggling lineups. Dickey has four consecutive quality starts but three losses and a no-decision to show for it, while Kershaw has limited his opponents to a .210 average over his past 14 starts.
Through Saturday's game, the Mets are batting .211 (109-for-516) with just 32 runs and 105 strikeouts over 15 games. They are 4-11 over that span.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, will take their third victory in 10 games since the All-Star break. But Saturday marked the seventh time in those 10 games that they've scored three runs or fewer -- and they've won three of those.
Mets: Wright stuck on RBI ladder with HoJo
David Wright got a hit but left four runners in scoring position on a 1-for-6 day Saturday, leaving his season RBI total at 68 and his career total at 629. That keeps him tied with Howard Johnson for third on the Mets' all-time RBI list. Darryl Strawberry is tops on the list with 733 and Mike Piazza is No. 2 with 655.
Dodgers: Ethier's break interrupted
Saturday was advertised as a day off for struggling right fielder Andre Ethier, who has been in a funk since the All-Star break and extended his skid to 4-for-33 on Friday night. But he didn't get that break as the game went into extra innings, and he was needed. Before the game, Dodgers manager Joe Torre made it sound like Ethier would be off limits. "He's struggling, just struggling," Torre said. "Looks like he's just fighting it, frustration on top of everything else. He hasn't had any time off, the All-Star Game, the whole thing." Ethier didn't have much fun at the plate once he got in the game, however, as he struck out in the 10th as a pinch-hitter for closer Jonathan Broxton and then popped out with runners on second and third and one out in the 12th, bouncing his helmet off the dugout floor after that one.
The two teams will wrap up their season series on Sunday, with the Mets already assured of having won it with their sweep at home in April and their victory on Friday, currently leading it 4-2.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.