• Dodgers 5, Mets 1: He performed better than he did against Pittsburgh in his last start, but Oliver Perez was still underwhelming in the Mets' loss in Chavez Ravine. Four days after walking five and retiring five batters in 1 2/3 innings, the lefty allowed three home runs -- no easy task at pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium -- in the series opener. He only walked two and didn't seem to be affected by a Jeff Kent liner off his stomach in the first inning.

    Even so, he couldn't match Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley, who walked four and struck out four Mets, including David Wright twice. A Moises Alou single accounted for the Mets' only run. Perez, whose struggles have earned the wrath of closer Billy Wagner, may just be a headcase. Manager Willie Randolph said Perez, "kept us relatively in the ballgame after a shaky start, but the gopher balls hurt him." That's a fair assessment, though what does "relatively in the ballgame mean"? After a slow start, Joe Torre's Dodgers are 18-14 and look like they will be a factor all season. Nelson Figueroa takes on Hiroki Koruda on Tuesday night before a day game Wednesday.