Although they have been lifted by a recent stretch of strong pitching, the New York Mets might have a difficult time continuing that at Dodger Stadium.
The surging Los Angeles Dodgers look to continue their torrid hitting Monday night against right-hander Jenrry Mejia and the Mets.
Mark Ellis had a home run, double and three RBIs as Los Angeles (67-50) increased its NL West lead over Arizona to a season-high 7 1-2 games with Sunday's 8-2 victory over visiting Tampa Bay to complete a three-game sweep and extend its winning streak to five.
''When you rattle off a streak like the one we're on right now, it's probably a little more than luck,'' winning pitcher Clayton Kershaw said. ''We're a pretty good team right now, and it's a lot of fun coming to the yard every day and winning games. I think the guys in this clubhouse realize that we've got a pretty good opportunity here that we don't want to waste.''
Ellis, who has six hits in his last two games, went 4 for 5 with two homers in a 7-2 win at Citi Field on April 23 to help Los Angeles take two of three in that series.
The Dodgers, who are a major league-best 37-8 since June 22, are averaging 7.6 runs while hitting .366 during their current winning streak. Carl Crawford (11 for 22), Yasiel Puig (15 for 34) and Skip Schumacher (9 for 14) have keyed the most recent offensive charge.
The Mets (54-61), who have won five of six, are hoping Mejia (1-1, 1.96 ERA) can cool off the Dodgers in the opener of this three-game set. The right-hander has allowed four earned runs in three starts since being called up, striking out 18 in 18 1-3 innings.
"We know we're going into Los Angeles," Mets manager Terry Collins told the league's official website. "We said it last week - this, for me, is a huge road trip for us as a team. We've got to have some success. We're going in to play the hottest team in baseball. It's not going to be easy."
Mejia did not get a decision Tuesday against Colorado, giving up two runs while fanning seven in 5 1-3 innings of a 3-2 victory. He's contributed to a stretch in which the staff has a 2.19 ERA the past six games.
Los Angeles starter Ricky Nolasco (8-9, 3.65) seeks his third straight win, but hasn't made it out of the sixth inning in his last five starts. He lasted five innings for the second straight outing Wednesday, giving up three runs - all unearned because of his three-base throwing error - and seven hits in a 13-4 victory at St. Louis.
The right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA since being acquired in a trade with Miami on July 6.
Nolasco, however, is winless in his last six starts against the Mets, going 0-2 with a 4.30 ERA. He did not factor in the decision in his only matchup with them this year, surrendering three runs over 5 1-3 innings in a 7-3 loss at Citi Field on April 6.
Ike Davis went 2 for 3 off Nolasco in that win and has gone 7 for 13 with four doubles over his last six games to raise his average to a season-high .205.
Wilmer Flores has filled in nicely for injured All-Star David Wright, going 4 for 8 with four RBIs in his last two games. Flores hit his first major league home run in Sunday's 9-5 win over Arizona.
The Mets have won six of eight at Chavez Ravine since 2011.
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