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LAD@NYM: Ethier smacks a two-run shot to right

NEW YORK -- No sooner had the streak ended than the power returned to Andre Ethier's swing, and just as quickly, the Dodgers returned to the win column.

Coincidence?

"It was good to see it," manager Don Mattingly said after Ethier's two-run homer was the difference in a 4-2 win over the Mets, snapping the Dodgers' losing streak at four games to avoid a series sweep in Citi Field.

"I don't know why the streak would have anything to do with it. Maybe subconsciously or whatever, he's trying to put hits up. We'll see."

After getting blanked Saturday night to end his 30-game hitting streak, Ethier homered and singled Sunday in support of Clayton Kershaw (4-3), who shook off first-inning wildness to pitch into the seventh inning.

Jamey Carroll had three hits for the second consecutive game, Aaron Miles added two hits to Ethier's pair and the top of the Dodgers order went 7-for-13.

Ethier hit only three home runs during the 30-game streak, but by this time last year he had 11 home runs. He said he hit an R.A. Dickey changeup, pulling it into the seats just inside the right-field foul pole in the seventh.

"I was trying to hit it hard and got it up in the air," Ethier said. "You can't ask for more than what Clayton did. A lot of guys are nervous, there's a lot of pressing. We're just looking for any way to get the offense going. It was nice to have a big hit to match with Kershaw."

Did the Dodgers need this one, after losing six of their previous seven?

"Are you kidding?" asked Mattingly. "Yeah, we needed it. I was a little nervous leaving the bases loaded with nobody out. Usually, that comes back to haunt you. Ethier gave us a little cushion."

The Dodgers left the bases loaded three times in Saturday night's 4-2 bullpen loss. This time, they got away with stranding the bases loaded with no outs in the fifth inning, as Kershaw created one run in the third, the bottom of the order a second run in the fourth and Ethier's homer provided the difference.

The bullpen secured the win, but it wasn't pretty. Vicente Padilla allowed a ninth-inning run on Jose Reyes' RBI triple but held on for his second save of the season and first since officially replacing injured closer Jonathan Broxton.

Mattingly was non-committal on whether Broxton would get his job back when he returns, which could be six weeks away.

"If Vicente comes in and pitches well, it's hard to hand something over to someone else," Mattingly said. "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it."

Kenley Jansen, called up to take Broxton's place on the roster, inherited two runners from Kershaw and walked the first batter he faced before retiring Jason Bay on a fly out.

And Matt Guerrier pitched a clean eighth inning after serving up the game-winning pinch-hit -single to Justin Turner Saturday night.

"I've been battling bad pitches I've been throwing the last three or four times out," said Guerrier. "I felt better today. Better rhythm."

Kershaw (4-3) allowed one run on six hits with eight strikeouts and is 3-0 lifetime against the Mets. It was his sixth quality start of the year. Dickey, a knuckleballer, was the starter for the Mets, taking the loss.

"He made good pitches when he needed to make them," said Mets third baseman David Wright, part of an offense that was 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. "We had a couple opportunities, but they had some good arms coming out of the bullpen. With the few chances we had to score, they really shut us down and made some good pitches." As usual, Kershaw was tough on himself for issuing back-to-back one-out walks in the first inning.

"That got my pitch count up, and it was an uphill battle to stay in the game from there," he said. "It wasn't great, but it got the job done. It's always good to compete and battle. From there, I didn't walk anybody until the last inning."

Catcher Ronny Paulino's RBI single cashed in the walks, but Kershaw helped even the game in the third inning when Dickey hit him in the left knee with a pitch. With Jamey Carroll up, Kershaw advanced to second base on Paulino's passed ball, sliding hard and awkwardly over the bag.

"It wasn't graceful, but I got in there," Kershaw said.

Kershaw went to third on Carroll's grounder to first, and Miles drove Kershaw home for the unearned run with a bouncing single into right field.

Back-to-back one-out singles by James Loney and Jerry Sands in the fourth inning were followed by Rod Barajas' fielder's choice grounder that scored Loney to put the Dodgers ahead, 2-1.

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