(Sports Network) - Mike Pelfrey hopes to bounce back from the shortest start of his career this evening when the New York Mets continue their four-game set with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
Pelfrey could not make it out of the second inning on Monday in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks hammered him for six runs and seven hits in 1 1/3 frames.
It was the third straight loss for Pelfrey, who fell to 10-5 on the year. He is now winless in his last four starts, and has failed to get out of the fifth inning in each of those outings, while surrendering 28 runs in 14 2/3 innings of those starts to balloon his earned run average from 2.71 to 4.01.
"I'm going through one of the worst stretches of my life. I don't know if I've ever had four starts in a row without getting out of the fifth inning," Pelfrey said. "I think tonight was definitely the shortest outing of my life, it's frustrating, I think I've gotten away from establishing the fastball, seems like I'm trying to establish three, four pitches at once, early in the game and that's not who I am. So I need to get back to using the fastball, establishing that to make the other pitches better."
It won't get any easier for the 26-year-old right-hander tonight, as he is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers, who have hit him at a .341 clip.
The Mets were held to four runs or less in each of their previous 13 games, but a balanced attack with the bats and Santana's arm helped the club to their second win in nine games since the All-Star break.
Santana (8-5) surrendered just one run on five hits and a walk to go with four strikeouts in the win. The left-hander has gone at least seven frames and given up one run or less in his last five outings.
Vicente Padilla (4-3) took the look despite allowing a mere two runs -- one earned -- on six hits in seven innings for Los Angeles, which won the opener of this four-game series, 2-0, on Thursday.
"Padilla pitched sensational. We just couldn't get any offense going. Santana works fast and you don't get many opportunities against him," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "We've been struggling offensively."
Los Angeles, meanwhile, will pin its hopes tonight on righty Carlos Monasterios, who will be making his seventh start of the season. Monasterios has been tremendous coming out of the bullpen for the Dodgers, pitching to a 1.75 ERA in 14 appearances. However, he has struggled in his six starts, going 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA.
In 25 2/3 innings as a reliever, Monasterios has a 1.75 ERA. In his last two starts, in June, Monasterios allowed 10 runs and 20 baserunners, including three home runs, in 6 2/3 innings. He was placed on the disabled list after his June 23 start in Boston with blisters on his fingers, blisters Monasterios himself said did not affect his performance. He will be making his first-ever start against the Mets, but he did throw two scoreless innings of relief against them back on April 27.
The Mets have lost 10 of 15 games in Hollywood since the 2007 season.