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Dodgers beat Mets 2-0 in Japanese pitching duel

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hiroki Kuroda threw eight outstanding innings, Matt Kemp drove in both runs and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the offensively inept New York Mets 2-0 Thursday night.

It was the Dodgers' second consecutive 2-0 win, having edged San Francisco a night earlier.

The Mets lost their fourth in a row and fell to 1-7 on their 11-game road trip, with three shutout losses. They are scoreless in their last 17 innings after going 24 straight innings without a run last weekend in San Francisco.

Kuroda outpitched countryman Hisanori Takahashi in the sixth major league meeting of starters born in Japan.

Kuroda (8-8) allowed five hits, struck out four and walked one. The right-hander ended a personal three-game skid with his first win since June 26 against the New York Yankees. He is the top Japan-born starting pitcher in major league history, with a 3.67 ERA in 71 games.

Hong-Chih Kuo, who is Taiwanese, pitched the ninth for his third save. The left-hander hasn't given up a run in 16 1-3 innings at home.

Takahashi (7-5) gave up two runs and three hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked two. The left-hander retired 10 in a row during one stretch.

The Mets had the potential tying run at the plate in the ninth after Kuo walked David Wright with one out, but Ike Davis struck out swinging and Jeff Francoeur grounded out to third to end the game.

Kuroda intentionally walked Luis Castillo to load the bases in the fifth, then retired Takahashi on a groundout to end the inning.

Kemp provided the Dodgers with an insurance run leading off the seventh, hitting his 17th home run into the left-field pavilion on a 1-0 pitch from Takahashi.

Kemp's two-out double in the first bounced off the right-field wall, allowing Jamey Carroll extra time to score from first after he walked.

NOTES: Mets GM Omar Minaya said manager Jerry Manuel's job is safe despite the team's current slump. Manuel's two-year contract expires at season's end. ... Takahashi and Kuroda faced each other six times in Japan, with Kuroda going 4-0 in those matchups. ... Dodgers manager Joe Torre said RHP Carlos Monasterios (3-2) will start Saturday. Torre said the only other option was RHP James McDonald, but that he's needed more in the bullpen. ... Dodgers bench coach Bob Schaefer served his one-game suspension in connection with Tuesday's loss to the Giants. ... The Dodgers set a record with their 857th consecutive game at home without a rainout. The last washout was on April 17, 2000.