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Dodgers look for more against left-handed pitching

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Harry How

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers face Jon Niese on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Mets, looking to improve against left-handed pitching.

That might seem like a weird thing to say since the Dodgers are 20-11 against left-handed starting pitchers this season, and the loss to Eric Stults on Wednesday was just the third Dodgers loss against a left-handed pitcher in their last 16 games against southpaws.

But against left-handed pitching this season the Dodgers are hitting just .236/.319/.365, 12th in the National League in OPS, slugging percentage and home runs (21), 14th in batting average, 10th in wOBA (.306) and sixth in on-base percentage.

By contrast, the Dodgers are hitting .265/.329/.400 against right-handed pitching, fourth in the NL in OPS and slugging, third in wOBA (.323), and second in on-base percentage and batting average.

Against left-handed starters, the Dodgers are hitting .246/.330/.370, but against southpaws in the bullpen the team is down to just .215/.294/.354.

Scott Van Slyke has been the Dodgers' primary weapon all season against left-handed pitching, hitting .260/.408/.623 with seven home runs against them, and he is starting in left field on Friday night against Niese. It is the 10th start in 33 games since the All-Star break for Van Slyke, who is 8-for-36 with three doubles and a home run during that span, hitting .222/.275/.389, including 3-for-17 (.176) with a home run and a double against lefties.

Mets roster move

Before Friday's game, the Mets activated Sunday starter Bartolo Colon from the bereavement list, and optioned right-hander Gonzalez Germen to Triple-A Las Vegas.