Perez Pounded; Can You Say Billingsley?

Odalis Perez's return to the starting rotation was anything but a success as he was blasted for seven runs -- including four in the first inning -- a deficit the Dodgers cold not overcome despite a pair of home runs and four runs batted in by shortstop Rafael Furcal. Add that with tightness in Eric Gagne's elbow that will cause him to take a few days off made the day an ugly one.

Odalis Perez was kicked early and often, allowing 11 hits with five of them coming in the four-run first inning. He has allowed 13 runs over his last 13 innings as a starter and the search for a Number five pitcher in the rotation may lead the Dodgers Eastward to Las Vegas where yet another precocious youngster is working and waiting, Chad Billingsley.

Perez was reinserted into the starting rotation because Jae Seo has had season-long troubles and was banished to the bullpen to switch places with Odalis.

Perez got the first two outs in the initial inning before the roof fell in on him but to be honest, three of the five hits in the first were broken-bat singles. "There's not a whole lot you can do about that," said Manager Grady Little, who said Perez would make his next scheduled start June 16 at Oakland.

Despite starting down 4-0 and 5-1, the Dodgers fought back to get Perez off the hook. Shortstop Rafe Furcal banged a pair of homers and , along with Russell Martin's RBI single, tied the game 5-5 n the second inning.

Two more New York runs in the fourth gave Perez the rest of the evening off . Carrying a 7.02 earned run average as he left, most of the 44,000+ fans in attendance showered him with boos.

Seo took over for the Dodgers and came within one out of throwing three shutout innings but instead gave up a booming, two-run homer and Nomar Garciaparra's baserunning mistake in the eighth inning killed their last, slim chance.

The Dodgers had the makings of a late comeback against former teammate Duaner Sanchez in the eighth, when Garciaparra led off with a shot into the left-field corner off former teammate Duaner Sanchez in the eighth but was gunned down attempting to stretch the hit into a double.

J.D. Drew wangled a walk and Andre Ethier smacked an RBI double but Sanchez struck out Olmedo Saenz to end the inning and closer Billy Wagner ended the game in the ninth for his 12th save.

After a great run in late May, the homestand ended with three wins in seven games and dropped a game in the standings to Arizona. They take Thursday off before embarking on a nine-game road swing.

With the uncertainty of Gagne's elbow, the only thing that the Dodgers are certain of is that they've lost their last three games started by either Seo or Perez.
  Score by innings
New York    410 200 200-9
Los Angeles 140 100 010-6

  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      5 2 2 4  .261
Lofton, CF      4 0 0 0  .319
Garciaparra, 1B 3 0 2 0  .369
Kemp, RF        4 0 1 0  .333
Guzman, 3B      3 0 0 0  .200
  Kuo, P        0 0 0 0  .000
  Drew, PH      0 1 0 0  .284
  Baez, P       0 0 0 0  .000
Cruz, LF        1 2 1 1  .245
  Ethier, PH-LF 1 0 1 1  .302
Martinez, 2B    3 0 1 0  .358
  Saenz, PH-3B  1 0 0 0  .290
Martin, C       4 1 1 1  .278
Perez, P        1 1 0 0 0 .067
  Seo, P        1 0 0 0  .118
  Aybar, 3B-2B  2 0 1 0  .312
    Totals     33 7 10 7
    Mets       38 9 14 9   

  Errors- none. 2B- Ethier (5). HR- 
Furcal 2 (4), Cruz (4). RBI- Furcal 
4 (21), Martin (18), Cruz (12), 
Ethier (15). LOB- Mets 5, Dodgers 
3. DP- 2 (Guzman, Martinez and 
Garciaparra; Martinez and Garciaparra).

  Dodgers      in  h r-er bb so era
Perez (L,4-2) 3.2 11  7-7  1 4 7.02
Seo           3.0  3  2-2  1 3 5.40
Kuo           1.1  0  0-0  0 2 4.32
Baez          1.0  0  0-0  1 2 3.56
  T- 2:48. Att- 44,230.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Gagne underwent an MRI to determine the source of the tightness in his right elbow. X-rays revealed no ligament or structural damage but doctors did discover some fluid and inflammation around the ulnar nerve. As a result, he will rest the elbow for three days or so with the hope the inflammation subsides. Gagne said he didn't have pain, but my arm stiffened after the fourth warmup pitch. …Glavine became baseball's first nine-game winner despite being hit hard. …When Grady Little he looks at Dodgers rookie Matt Kemp, he reminds him of Atlanta star Chipper Jones. Little was in the Atlanta organization when Jones was being groomed. Kemp, who was promoted a little over a week ago, was batting .345 with four home runs and 10 RBI in his first six games. …J.D. Drew was out of the lineup Thursday after experiencing a sore right hamstring. …Jeff Kent has started taking swings in the batting cage and hopes to return when the Dodgers open a three-game series in San Diego on Tuesday. However, Bill Mueller's knee is not responding well to May 15 surgery, and he will seek a second opinion from Vail orthopedic surgeon Dr. William Steadman. …Catcher Dioner Navarro will begin a rehabilitation assignment with Las Vegas for his right wrist, which was badly bruised by a foul tip May 4. He'll be reunited with shortstop Cesar Izturis, already on a rehab assignment at Las Vegas who has begun playing short after initially playing second base. He's 4-for-18 at the plate. …The Dodgers are off Thursday and travel to Denver to open a three-game series with the Rockies Friday night, when Brad Penny (6-1, 2.62) opposes Byung-Hyun Kim (3-3, 4.97).