was back at it, walking one batter after another. This time, however, he managed to wriggle out of trouble.
Perez won despite a wild return from the disabled list and the depleted
New York Mets
finally mustered some offense Wednesday night, overcoming
's homer in a 5-4 victory over the
Los Angeles Dodgers
snapped an 0-for-17 slump with his first RBI this month.
doubled twice and made an incredible play at first base, and the Mets ended a four-game skid with their third victory in 12
''It was a big win for us,'' manager
said. ''We needed to win a game.''
Ramirez hit a leadoff shot to right in the ninth inning off
, making it 5-4. The All-Star closer walked his next batter, but got
to ground into a game-ending double play with two on for his 22nd save in 25 chances.
Ramirez's 535th homer broke a tie with Hall of Famer
for 16th place on the career list, one behind
Booed consistently by the crowd of 40,027, Ramirez went 1 for 5 in his fifth game back following a 50-game drug suspension.
He played all nine innings for the first time since his return - the enigmatic slugger was ejected for throwing equipment
following a fifth-inning strikeout Tuesday night.
Ramirez said umpire John Hirschbeck told him Wednesday that he missed the call in question the previous night.
''We're friends. Everybody makes mistakes. I overreacted,'' Ramirez said.
Ramirez, who stranded two runners with a sixth-inning groundout against
, is 4 for 16 (.250) with two home runs and five RBIs since returning to the lineup.
''I've still got a long way to go,'' Ramirez said, explaining that he needs to build strength in his legs. ''I'm pretty sure
I'm going to get there.''
Perez (2-2) was wild all night, but didn't wilt. He walked a season-high seven in five innings, then left for a pinch hitter
with a 5-2 lead. He allowed four hits and struck out two, throwing 55 of 108 pitches for strikes.
''He was flowing in and out of rhythm. It became very challenging for us,'' Manuel said. ''But one thing about Ollie, he competes
and gives you everything he's got. And tonight that was enough to get him through five innings.''
Re-signed by the Mets to a $36 million, three-year contract in the offseason, Perez had been sidelined since May 3 because
of tendinitis in his right knee. He opened the season 1-2 with a 9.97 ERA in five starts.
''I kind of felt like we let him off the hook a little bit,'' said Dodgers cleanup hitter
, who walked four times. ''We needed a big hit and we didn't come up with it.''
Perez's return was the first piece of good news in weeks for the injury-ravaged Mets, still missing
and J.J. Putz.
New York finally caught a break in the seventh, when
's grounder caromed off first base and up in the air. A stumbling Murphy scooped up the ball and made a blind, behind-the-back
flip to Parnell covering first base for the out.
''I just grabbed it and flipped it,'' Murphy said. ''That's just reaction right there, and being in the right place at the
Loretta put both hands on his helmet and manager
came out to argue, to no avail.
''That was about as unlucky as I've been on a baseball field in my career,'' Loretta said.
Perez walked his first batter on four pitches - and none were close. The erratic left-hander issued three straight free passes
in the third, but escaped unscathed.
He said he was ''a little nervous.''
''Sometimes you don't have command,'' Perez said. ''Just one of those games you have to keep your team in the game. I feel
healthy. I feel strong. I know what I have to do to get better.''
doubled in the second off
(3-5) and scored on
's two-out infield single for New York's first run in 24 innings.
New York broke loose for three runs in the third to take a 4-1 lead. Murphy hit his second double and scored when Wright singled
for his first RBI in seven games since June 30.
An error by Blake at third base allowed another run to score, and Reed added an RBI single.
Ramirez reacted late in left field on Murphy's first-inning double over his head. The Mets had gone 29 innings without an
extra-base hit, matching a club record done 12 times previously - the last in 1992.
NOTES: Kuroda lasted 4 1-3 innings, his shortest start this season. ... New York improved to 1-4 against the Dodgers this