Flushing, NY – Matt Kemp and Luis Cruz both clubbed two-run homers, as the Los Angeles Dodgers held on to beat the New York Mets, 7-6, in the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field.
Andre Ethier, Juan Rivera and Jerry Hairston were also credited with an RBI for the Dodgers, while starter Aaron Harang (7-5) gave up three runs -- one earned -- on four hits and three walks in five innings.
Daniel Murphy collected four hits, including two doubles, and knocked in a run for the Mets, who halted a six-game losing streak with Thursday's win at Washington.
Johan Santana (6-7) was tagged for six runs on seven hits and three walks in three full frames. It marked the third straight start that the New York left- hander has surrendered at least six runs.
"I feel ok, I don't feel my best right now but at the same time I'm not trying to find excuses or anything," Santana said.
The Mets were trailing 7-4 in the seventh when Ike Davis hit a one-out single off reliever Shawn Tolleson. Jordany Valdespin then came off the bench and delivered a two-run homer to left field.
Ronald Belisario pitched around a two-out single by Murphy in the eighth and Kenley Jansen overcame a throwing error by the third baseman Hairston in the ninth to notch his 17th save of the season.
It was a productive first inning for Los Angeles, which put up a three-spot against a pitcher who had given up just two runs while winning all five of his previous career outings versus the Dodgers. Santana shut out Los Angeles over eight innings on June 30.
"We hopped out on him early, worked counts and got good pitches to hit," Kemp said of the opening frame.
Bobby Abreu led off the game with a single and came home on Kemp's 14th home run of the year, a one-out drive to left-center field. The Los Angeles center fielder also homered in his last at-bat on Wednesday, snapping a four- game skid with his 12th-inning blast off Philadelphia's Jake Diekman.
Ethier followed with a double down the left-field line and scored on Hairston's two-out single to center.
The Mets got two runs back in their half of the first on sacrifice flies by David Wright and Davis. Ruben Tejada reached on a fielding error by Hairston to open the frame and Murphy stroked a double before the pair scored on consecutive fly balls.
Los Angeles extended its lead in the second on a bases-loaded walk to Ethier, and Cruz's first major league home run made it 6-2 in the third.
New York trimmed its deficit to three in the fifth when Murphy plated Tejada with a double. The Mets were threatening for more runs, but Harang fanned Lucas Duda with men on the corners to end the inning.
Scott Hairston singled home Andres Torres to draw the Mets closer after six frames. But the Dodgers went ahead 7-4 in the seventh as Ethier worked a one- out walk, stole second and scored on Rivera's ground ball up the middle.
Valdespin improved to 4-for-22 as a pinch-hitter this season, with all four of his hits being home runs. His four pinch-hit home runs tie the club single- season mark set by Danny Heep in 1983 and matched by Mark Carreon six years later...Los Angeles began a 10-game road trip...The Mets took three of four from June 28-July 1 at Dodger Stadium...Wright went 0-for-3, snapping his home hitting streak at 16 games...The Mets traded infielder Omar Quintanilla to the Baltimore Orioles for cash considerations. Quintanilla had been designated for assignment earlier in the week.