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NYM@PHI: Niese allows two runs over seven innings

After splitting a two-game Interleague set in Oakland with an 8-5 win over the A's on Wednesday, the Mets will make their only visit to Dodger Stadium this season, opening a three-game weekend set against the National League West-leading Dodgers on Friday night.

Left-hander Jon Niese will take the mound for New York. Since returning from a stint on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder, Niese has gone 2-4 with a 4.97 ERA. He had a 2.96 ERA prior to being placed on the DL. In his last outing, he allowed three runs on seven hits over six innings to beat the Cubs last Saturday.

"It's definitely not a step back," said Niese, who continues to try to regain his pre-DL form. "I felt really good tonight. Just still working, just was able to build off my last one."

Niese will face a Dodgers lineup that has struggled against southpaws this season, batting .236 against lefties.

The Dodgers will send out right-hander Dan Haren, who will look to bounce back from a three-inning performance in his last start. Haren was victimized by some shaky defense that led to three unearned runs but he also surrendered five hits and three walks, resulting in six runs.

"I was out of gas," Haren said. "I was working hard from the get-go, right out of the gate I was in trouble and never gathered myself.

"I felt good in the bullpen. After the first two batters, I struck out the next couple. I felt fine. I tried to limit the damage. It's one game. I have to gather my self-confidence and not let it turn into something like a couple bad ones in a row."

In 11 games (10 starts) against the Mets, Haren is 3-3 with a 5.25 ERA.

Mets: Eveland gets cortisone injection in elbow
Left-handed reliever Dana Eveland received a cortisone injection in his pitching elbow on Tuesday after experiencing elbow inflammation.

Eveland had posted a 2.00 ERA through July 30, but he had a 6.75 ERA in seven appearances since. Eveland said he had been having elbow discomfort for weeks, but it really flared up in an Aug. 12 outing against the Nationals.

"It's been barking a little bit on and off for the last month and a half, but I've been throwing through it," Eveland said. "I've had some days where I felt real good and some other days where I didn't feel as good, and I feel like my pitching hasn't been as sharp as it had been the first month and a half since I've been here."

Eveland said he was already feeling the effects of the cortisone shot on Wednesday, and manager Terry Collins said he should be available for Friday's series opener against the Dodgers.

Dodgers: Crawford swinging red-hot bat
Left fielder Carl Crawford is batting .407 (22-for-54) since Aug. 4, notching eight multihit games in 17 contests during that span.

Crawford missed 41 games this season with a left ankle sprain, but he has stolen 19 bases in 23 attempts, the most steals he's had since he swiped 47 bags in 2010 for the Rays. The 19 steals were also four more than he stole in 40 more games last season.

Worth noting
• The Dodgers took two of three from the Mets in their only series so far this season.

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