After a dreadful 1-8 performance on a recent road trip, the Los Angeles Dodgers probably thought a return home would soften the blow.
The Dodgers are mired in a six-game losing streak -- the longest since Sept 4-9, 2010 -- and will resume a four-game series versus the New York Mets tonight at Chavez Ravine. Los Angeles lost Thursday's opener to the Mets by a 3-2 score, then was slapped with a 9-0 setback last night.
Aaron Harang got the start for LA and was reached for five runs -- four earned -- and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings for the loss. Shawn Tolleson gave up four more runs, three of which were earned, in relief.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was a bit poetic following the loss.
"You go through rocky points in the year and I think my job as a manager and our job as a staff is to make sure we see the light," he said. "There's a lighthouse out there somewhere that we're heading for. No matter what kind of water we are in at this point, we have to keep steering."
Mattingly's club managed just four hits on the night, including one by Harang, and has scored five runs during the current slide.
The Dodgers will also host Cincinnati on their current homestand and hope Nathan Eovaldi has enough in the tank to pitch his team to victory. Eovaldi's stats prove otherwise as he is only 0-4 with a 4.04 earned run average in six starts and was impaled by San Francisco his last time out, allowing eight runs and 10 hits in five innings of an 8-0 setback on Monday.
Eovaldi, a right-hander, is 0-1 in two home starts this season and has never faced the Mets in his career. He will make his 13th big league start Saturday.
Mets starter R.A. Dickey was at it again last night with eight scoreless innings and 10 strikeouts. He allowed just three hits and improved to 10-0 in his last 13 starts. Dickey also added a hit at the plate.
"The ball came out of my hand easy tonight," Dickey said after becoming the first 12-game winner in the majors. "I hit the strike zone, I've been able to be consistent. I thought mechanically things went well."
Daniel Murphy hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs, while Ruben Tejada went 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored for the Mets, who have won three straight following a four-game slide and prevailed for the seventh time in 11 tries. The Mets are 3 1/2 games behind Washington for the NL East lead and 3-2 on a seven-game road trip.
New York is also .500 (19-19) on the road for the first time since May 23, when it was 12-12. It is 6-2 in the past eight road tilts.
Johan Santana draws the start tonight for the Mets and had a two-game winning streak halted in a 6-1 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Monday. Santana gave up two runs in six innings to fall to 5-4 in 15 starts with a 3.00 ERA.
The left-hander is only 1-3 in seven road assignments this season, but 4-0 with a microscopic 0.65 ERA against the Dodgers. Santana won his only start at Dodger Stadium on July 23, 2010.
New York won five of seven meetings with the Dodgers last season.