Rapid Reaction: Dodgers 8, Mets 5

Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: Miguel Batista needed 81 pitches to get through three innings.

Suffice to say things didn’t work out as planned.

Batista, who recently called the Mets “the best team in baseball,” may not be part of the team much longer. The 41-year-old right-hander gave up four earned runs on five hits in the Mets’ 8-5 loss to the Dodgers on Saturday afternoon at Citi Field.

Batista (1-3, 0-2 starter) threw 33 pitches in a first inning in which he walked three. He needed just 14 pitches to get through a 1-2-3 second, but threw 34 during a three-run third, which was highlighted by Juan Uribe’s two-out, two-RBI double to right.

Jeremy Hefner, who was just promoted from Triple-A Buffalo, gave up two runs in two innings in relief of Batista. Hefner threw 47 pitches, and could be in line to make Johan Santana’s next scheduled start on Wednesday afternoon against Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg. Santana was placed on the 15-day disabled list before the game with a sprained right ankle.

Highly touted prospect Matt Harvey, an unlikely candidate to get the nod Wednesday, starts for the Bisons on Saturday night. Harvey is a viable option to move into the rotation soon, though, according to GM Sandy Alderson.

The Mets (47-47) have lost eight of their last nine games and dropped to .500 for the first time since May 4, when they were 13-13.

Ex-Met Chris Capuano (10-5) struck out nine and allowed three earned runs on eight hits in seven innings.

RON RON JUICE: Ronny Cedeno blasted just his second homer of the season into the second deck in left in the sixth.

SPINSANITY: Jordanny Valdespin recorded his first pinch-hit of the season that wasn’t a homer -- a bunt single leading off the third. Valdespin eventually came around to score on Scott Hairston’s two-out bloop single. He is 5-for-23 as a pinch-hitter this season with a franchise-record tying four homers.

R.A. IN RELIEF: R.A. Dickey got two quick outs in the eighth before surrendering a bloop single to James Loney and a two-run homer to left to Uribe.

Dickey was making his first official relief appearance of the season -- not counting the All-Star game. The 37-year-old knuckleballer last pitched in relief on April 17, 2011.

UP NEXT: Jon Niese (7-4, 3.58 ERA) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (1-6, 4.33) on Sunday afternoon in the series finale.