New York (55-71) at Los Angeles (66-60)

  • Game info: 10:10 pm EDT Fri Aug 22, 2003
  • TV: KCOP
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets are both playing good baseball, but only one of them is doing so in meaningful games.

The Dodgers continue their chase of the NL wild card when they host the Mets for the opener of a three-game series.

Dave Roberts scored from first base on Cesar Izturis’ double with two outs in the eighth inning Thursday as Los Angeles beat Montreal 2-1. The Dodgers won for the fourth time in five games and 12th in their last 17.

The Dodgers, one of the weakest-hitting teams in baseball all season, have won by taking chances on the bases the last two nights. On Wednesday, they tied the game in the ninth when Alex Cora scored on a grounder, then won 4-1 in the 10th.

“The way we’ve been going, you’ve got to push the envelope and force the opponent to make a play,” Roberts said.

The Dodgers improved to fourth place in the wild-card race, three games behind the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Mets have no playoff hopes, but if they played all season like they have been lately, they probably wouldn’t be in last place.

Ty Wigginton hit a three-run homer Thursday as the Mets beat the San Diego Padres 7-1 to salvage the final game of their three-game set. It was the seventh win in nine games for New York.

Both of Friday’s starters have pitched well of late. The Dodgers’ Hideo Nomo, a former Met, is 5-1 in his last seven starts, while New York’s Al Leiter is 4-1 in his last five.

The Dodgers have won eight of their last 10 home games.

STANDINGS: Mets - 5th place, 26 GB, NL East. Dodgers - 3rd place, 10 GB, NL West.

METS PROBABLE STARTER: Leiter (12-6, 4.53 ERA). Leiter limited Colorado to one run and four hits in six innings, striking out a season-high 10 in a 6-4 victory Sunday. The veteran left-hander is 4-1 with a 1.45 ERA in his last five outings. He is 6-4 in 12 career starts against Los Angeles.

DODGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Nomo (14-9, 2.75 ERA). Nomo dominated the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, giving up four hits in seven innings and allowing only one runner to reach third base in a 3-0 victory. Nomo beat the Mets on May 7, improving to 2-3 with a 3.38 ERA in nine career outings against New York.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Mets - Jason Phillips, .322 avg.; Cliff Floyd, 18 HRs and 68 RBIs; Wigginton, 62 runs; Jose Reyes, 12 SBs. Dodgers - Paul Lo Duca, .286 avg.; Jeromy Burnitz, 25 HRs; Adrian Beltre, 63 RBIs; Shawn Green, 65 runs; Roberts, 32 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Dodgers, 2-1.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Mets - New York starters are 7-0 with a 2.04 ERA in the last nine games. … OF Roger Cedeno has two hits in three career at-bats against RHP Nomo. … LHP Leiter has a 1.75 ERA in six starts since the All-Star break. Dodgers - Los Angeles has scored 10 runs in Nomo’s nine losses. He is among the NL leaders with 183 1-3 innings. … OF Green sat out Thursday’s game because of a stiff neck that forced him out of Wednesday’s game early. … RHP Eric Gagne notched his 50th straight save Thursday, moving him within four of Tom Gordon’s record.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mets - 26-36 on the road; Dodgers - 36-27 at home.

INJURIES: Mets - OF Floyd (Achilles’), 15-day DL; RHP Pedro Astacio (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Strickland (groin), 60-day DL; INF Mo Vaughn (knee), 60-day DL. Dodgers - C Todd Hundley (back), 15-day DL; 1B Fred McGriff (abductor muscle), 15-day DL; OF Brian Jordan (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Troy Brohawn (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Kazuhisa Ishii (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Darren Dreifort (knee), 60-day DL; LHP Derek Thompson (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Green (neck), day-to-day.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Leiter NYY vs. H. Nomo KC
15-9 Record 16-13
3.99 ERA 3.09
139 K 177
94 BB 98
1.49 WHIP 1.25