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Sunday, July 1, 2012
Mets morning briefing 7.1.12

By Adam Rubin

LOS ANGELES -- Johan Santana tossed eight scoreless innings to put an exclamation point on a month he began with the organization's first no-hitter and Ike Davis answered an intentional walk to David Wright with a three-run homer as the Mets beat the Dodgers, 5-0, Saturday night.

The Amazin's will aim for the sweep at 8:05 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN as Dillon Gee (5-6, 4.42 ERA) opposes left-hander Clayton Kershaw (5-4, 2.74).

At 1 p.m., MLB announces the All-Star teams on TBS. Wright looks solid as the All-Star starter at third base, even with late voting out of San Francisco for Pablo Sandoval. R.A. Dickey, at 12-1 and with a 2.15 ERA, appears a lock for the NL pitching staff. Dickey may very well be the starting pitcher, but that will not be announced by NL skipper Tony La Russa until July 9, the day before the game in Kansas City.

Sunday's news reports:

• Santana took a one-hitter into the eighth, when he allowed two additional hits but stranded a pair in scoring position. Terry Collins said he has never seen anything like what is occurring with the Mets' starting staff, which seems to continually flirt with one-hitters or better. “Never. Never. I’ve never seen anything like this,” the manager said. “But we’ll take it. That’s what you want your pitching staff to do is keep you in the game and let your offense scrape some runs together and let them hold up. Those two guys at the top [Santana and Dickey], they feed off each other. I’m telling you, I think it’s the way it’s been.” Read game recaps in the Times, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Daily News and Post.

Zack Wheeler allowed a career-high seven runs with Binghamton, 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo belted a grand slam for Brooklyn, while Jenrry Mejia had a quality bullpen showing with two scoreless innings for Buffalo. Adam Loewen also returned to action after missing more than two months with a stress fracture in his right foot. Read Saturday's full minor league recap here.

• The Mets will keep their rotation in order for the remainder of the first half and not try to get Dickey an extra start or skip Santana:

Vs. Philly
Tuesday: Jon Niese
Wednesday: Chris Young
Thursday: Dickey

Vs. Chicago
Friday: Santana
Saturday: Gee
Sunday: Niese

Santana then is expected to open the second half in Atlanta on July 13, with Dickey going the following day.

Anthony Rieber in Newsday speaks with new Dodgers president Stan Kasten about planned upgrades to Dodger Stadium. "That classic vista. The bleachers, the palm trees, the San Gabriel Mountains. We'll never screw with that," Kasten told Rieber. "But we want to add the things that modern fans want and make them feel better about the ballpark. Like kids' areas, real active areas. A bar and hangout restaurant area. History. There's no history in this place -- at Dodger Stadium! When you think about it, it's hard to believe. We can do these things easy; we can do most of it in one offseason. Those kinds of things and more."

• Collins praised Ruben Tejada's contribution in place of Jose Reyes this season. Read more in Newsday and the Star-Ledger.

TRIVIA: Who was the winning pitcher for the Mets in the 2006 division-series clinching game at Dodger Stadium?

Saturday's answer: Dave Kingman has the worst single-season batting average in Mets history (minimum 500 PAs). Kingman hit .204 with the Mets in 1982, albeit with an NL-best 37 homers.