They may not need a whole lot of support with Chris Capuano on the hill against his former team.
Capuano looks to stay unbeaten at home and the Dodgers try to avoid being shut out for a fourth straight game Thursday night in the opener of a four-game set with the New York Mets .
Los Angeles (43-33) averaged 4.4 runs over its first 50 games but has plated just 3.2 per contest in going 11-15 since Kemp began his second DL stint May 31. The Dodgers, who were limited to 13 runs during their 1-8 road trip, didn't score once in San Francisco, and the Giants pulled even atop the division with Wednesday's 3-0 win.
Los Angeles has never been blanked in four straight.
Snapping a 30-inning scoreless drought could prove all the more difficult with Ethier out. The right fielder was removed from Wednesday's loss after straining his left oblique, and could land on the disabled list after an MRI Thursday.
"Getting shut out three days in a row hurts a lot more than this," Ethier said.
With its offense doing next to nothing, Los Angeles could surely use another gem from Capuano (9-2, 2.60 ERA). After going 11-12 with a 4.55 ERA last year with the Mets, Capuano has taken things to another level in his first season with the Dodgers.
"Cappy's been amazing, the way he's been throwing the ball - and it started in spring training," batterymate A.J. Ellis said. "He has a lot more velocity on his fastball. And when he has that, it makes all his off-speed stuff better."
Capuano was terrific again Saturday, allowing one run, seven hits and no walks over seven innings of a 3-1 road victory over the Angels.
"He's pretty much been like that almost every time out," manager Don Mattingly told the team's official website. " ... We thought it would be a good addition, but I'm not quite sure I thought he'd be like this. We'll just keep riding it."
The left-hander has been especially good at Chavez Ravine, where he's compiled a 1.57 ERA and a 5-0 record over seven starts. He's allowed two runs or fewer in each of those outings while striking out 46 in as many innings.
Facing his former team for the first time since leaving via free agency, Capuano will try for his first win over the Mets. He's defeated every other NL club at least once but went 0-4 with a 6.35 ERA in five career starts against New York (40-36) while with Milwaukee from 2004-07.
Capuano will be facing an offense that scored more runs in its latest game than his team put up on its road trip. The Mets snapped a four-game skid by beating the Cubs 17-1 on Wednesday, getting two homers from Daniel Murphy , a three-run shot from Ike Davis and a grand slam from Scott Hairston .
"We haven't had a lot of days were we had multiple guys in the lineup come up big," manager Terry Collins said. "We kind of thought going into spring training we would have more of those. Hopefully it's something that continues."
The Mets now turn to Chris Young , who's gone 1-1 with a 3.42 ERA over four starts since debuting earlier this month. He threw six scoreless innings before offering up a three-run homer in the seventh of Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Yankees.
Young is 1-3 with a 6.23 ERA over his last five starts against the Dodgers, though he hasn't faced them since 2009. He surely won't be upset about missing Ethier, who's gone 12 for 29 with six homers in their matchups - the most Young has allowed to any player.
|Tony Gwynn Jr.||1||.000||0||0||0||0||0||.000||.000||.000|
|Jerry Hairston Jr.||7||.143||1||0||1||0||1||.143||.286||.143|
|New York Mets|
|June 23, 2012||Frank Francisco||15-Day DL||Left oblique strain|
|June 16, 2012||Jason Bay||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|June 02, 2012||Mike Baxter||15-Day DL||Displaced right collarbone|
|May 31, 2012||Ramon Ramirez||15-Day DL||Right hamstring strain|
|May 31, 2012||Ramon Ramirez||15-Day DL||Right hamstring strain|
|May 29, 2012||Justin Turner||15-Day DL||Sprained right ankle|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|June 27, 2012||Andre Ethier||Day-to-Day||Left game -left oblique strain|
|June 03, 2012||Javy Guerra||15-Day DL||Right knee inflammation|
|May 31, 2012||Matt Kemp||15-Day DL||Re-aggravated strained left hamstring|
|May 30, 2012||Matt Kemp||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained left hamstring|
|May 24, 2012||Ted Lilly||15-Day DL||Left shoulder inflammation|
|May 23, 2012||Justin Sellers||15-Day DL||Bulging disc in lower back|
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Chris Young and Chris Capuano are a couple of kindred spirits. They were teammates with the New York Mets last season and shared one common trait above all - resiliency.
Both spent significant time away from the game because of injuries that required surgery and resulted in grueling comebacks. And in their first head-to-head matchup since Capuano left for free agency, Young and the Mets came away with a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night.
"It was fun when I saw the matchup, knowing that I was going up against him," Young said. "Cappy's a great guy and I'm happy for him. I know it's been a hard road for him. I've been through it, so I know what it's like."
"And to see his success this year, I'm very thrilled for him. But I wanted to beat him and I wanted us to win the game. That's the most important thing. And the guys managed to get one more than they did," he said.
David Wright hit a solo homer and RBI double as the Mets sent the Dodgers to their fifth straight loss.
The Dodgers ended their 33-inning scoreless drought in the fourth, with Dee Gordon getting congratulated up and down the dugout after crossing the plate. But they couldn't break through against the Mets' bullpen and dropped from the top of the NL West standings.
"I did see some jumping and hooting and hollering there, but we tried to stay focused because we still had a game to play," Dodgers catcher Matt Treanor said.
Young (2-1) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings, striking out six and walking none.
Relievers Tim Byrdak and Jon Rauch followed and then Bobby Parnell , getting his first save opportunity since closer Frank Francisco went on the disabled list, pitched a perfect ninth inning for his first save of the year.
Capuano (9-3) gave up three runs, five hits and no walks over seven innings.
The Mets are the only NL club the 33-year-old left-hander has never beaten - including five starts with Milwaukee in which he was 0-4 with a 6.35 ERA. Capuano came in 5-0 with a 1.57 ERA in his seven previous home starts this season.
Capuano has followed Young's efforts.
"He's just such a competitor," Capuano said. "When he was healthy starting out last year, he did some amazing things and pitched some great games for us. Then he suddenly went down with that shoulder injury."
"He was really down at that point, and I just tried to talk to him and give some encouragement," he said. "I told him: `Hey, I missed two years (after Tommy John surgery) and didn't know if I was going to make it back. So just keep at it. You know how to pitch. Just take your time and just focus on the rehab.' Now he's back and throwing great."
Coming off a three-game sweep at San Francisco in which they were outscored 15-0, the Dodgers' shutout string ended when Gordon doubled and Elian Herrera tripled over the head of center fielder Andres Torres . Juan Rivera followed with a sharp single through the box - all with none out.
The drought was the Dodgers' longest since the 1966 World Series against Baltimore, when they were blanked over the final 33 innings by Moe Drabowsky , Jim Palmer , Wally Bunker and Dave McNally . The franchise mark is 41 scoreless innings, set in August 1908 when they were known as the Brooklyn Superbas.
The Mets, who came in with the second-best average in the majors with runners in scoring position and two outs, regained the lead in the fifth with a two-out double by Torres after Mike Nickeas singled, advanced on Young's sacrifice and stole third. New York leads the majors with 167 two-out runs.
Wright, who had a season-high five RBIs in Wednesday's 17-1 rout of the Cubs at Wrigley Field, doubled home a run in the first. In the fourth, he golfed a drive into the left-field pavilion.
It was his ninth homer and 192nd of his career, tying Howard Johnson for third place on the Mets' career list behind Darryl Strawberry (252) and Mike Piazza (220).
NOTES: The Dodgers are 3-10 since the NHL champion Kings stopped by Chavez Ravine to show off the Stanley Cup they won two nights earlier. At the time, they led the Giants by 4 1/2 games. ... Dodgers RF Andre Ethier , who strained the oblique muscle on his left side while checking his swing in Wednesday's game, did not play. He is 12 for 29 with six homers against Young. "At this point, we're kind of day to day," manager Don Mattingly said. "Yesterday I kind of assumed we were going to be in a DL situation. But the docs looked at it and didn't see any swelling, so the news couldn't be any better as far as Andre is concerned." ... Wright drew his 581st walk, breaking Strawberry's club record. ... The Dodgers optioned OF Ivan DeJesus Jr. to Triple-A and recalled RF Scott Van Slyke, who batted fifth and was 0 for 4. ... The Dodgers have reached an agreement on a seven-year, $42 million contract with Cuban defector Yasiel Puig. The deal for the 21-year-old outfielder is expected to be completed on Friday, pending a physical.