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Juan Uribe enjoys a big day for Dodgers in victory over the Mets

The struggling third baseman drives in four runs, including a ninth-inning home run against R.A. Dickey.

July 21, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers first baseman James Loney (7) congratulates third baseman Juan Uribe after his two-run home run against the Mets in the ninth inning Saturday afternoon in New York.
Dodgers first baseman James Loney (7) congratulates third baseman Juan… (Christopher Pasatieri…)

NEW YORK — Juan Uribe received a one-day pardon from his tortured existence on Saturday.

Uribe's ninth-inning, two-run home run against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey capped a memorable day for the long-slumping third baseman and secured the Dodgers' third consecutive victory, an 8-5 win over the New York Mets at Citi Field.

Uribe also doubled and drew two walks. He drove in four runs and scored three, both seasons highs.

"Today, I had a good day, a beautiful day," Uribe said.

He hasn't had many in his two seasons with the Dodgers.

Uribe was still batting only .196 at the end of the game. He hit .204 last year in an injury-shortened season.

His three-year, $21-million agreement with the Dodgers has looked increasingly like a Faustian bargain. In exchange for his sizable paycheck, Uribe has subjected himself to constant frustration and humiliation. Though he has maintained a carefree demeanor, people close to him have said his pride is wounded.

"It's nice for him to feel like he's a part of this," Manager Don Mattingly said. "I think that's the toughest thing for guys. When you don't do well, you feel like you're letting a lot of guys down. It's nice when you're able to come through and help your club win a game."

The primary beneficiaries of Uribe's rare offensive outburst were closer Kenley Jansen, who saved his 18th game, and starter Chris Capuano, who earned his 10th win.

Jansen had to protect a three-run lead instead of a one-run lead because of Uribe's home run. The added runs were crucial, as Jansen issued a pair of two-out walks in the ninth inning before striking out Scott Hairston to end the game.

Jansen converted his third consecutive save opportunity since he blew a game last week by allowing the San Diego Padres to steal home.

Facing the team he pitched for last season, Capuano gave up three runs and eight hits over seven innings. He struck out nine.

As pleased as he was to win his 10th game, Capuano appeared even more pleased about Uribe's performance.

"He always has a smile on his face," Capuano said. "He plays great defense. He busts his butt. It was really great to see him get a couple of big hits tonight, especially that big one in the ninth."

Several players had big hits for the Dodgers, who had scored seven runs the previous night.

All eight of their runs were scored with two out.

"You do that, those are back breakers," Mattingly said.

The Dodgers' other maligned corner infielder, James Loney, drove in the first run of the game with a single to right field in the first inning.

The lead was increased to 3-0 on a two-run, third-inning double by Uribe, who scored the team's fourth run later in the inning on a single by Luis Cruz.

Matt Kemp tripled in Adam Kennedy in the fourth inning. Matt Treanor doubled in Uribe in the next inning. The Dodgers were up, 6-2, at that point.

The Mets gradually reduced the margin.

They trailed by only one run, 6-5, heading into the ninth inning. With his bullpen depleted, Mets Manager Terry Collins called on Dickey, usually a starter, to pitch the ninth.

Loney singled with two out to set up Uribe's blast to left field.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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