- Last Updated: 12:39 PM, June 30, 2012
- Posted: 2:37 AM, June 30, 2012
LOS ANGELES — Daniel Murphy is closing June with a bang.
After disappointing for most of the month with one of his worst slumps as a major leaguer, Murphy last night hit his third homer since Wednesday and tied a career high with five RBIs in the Mets’ 9-0 romp of the Dodgers.
Murphy began play batting .184 (14-for-76) over his previous 21 games, but showed signs of breaking out with a two-homer performance on Wednesday at Wrigley Field. Last night, he finished 2-for-5 with a two-run double and three-run homer.
“That’s the guy we know,” manager Terry Collins said. “Not necessarily the home runs — we know he’s got power — but we’re just seeing a much quicker bat through the zone and much better balance at the plate.
“I’m just as shocked as anybody Dan Murphy ever got in a slump. He’s such a good hitter, such a great approach at the plate. I didn’t think this guy could ever get in a slump.”
* Kirk Nieuwenhuis returned to the starting lineup after spending the previous two days working on his swing with hitting coach Dave Hudgens.
“We have him standing up a little bit taller, trying to keep his head on the ball,” Hudgens said. “He has some trouble when his hips come out. We’re trying to get him to stay squared to the plate and use the middle of the field more.”
The session didn’t produce any immediate results as the rookie outfielder went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Nieuwenhuis is in a 3-for-31 rut since June 16.
Ike Davis was fined $750 by MLB for making contact with umpire Manny Gonzalez during an argument Tuesday at Wrigley Field.
Davis, who was ejected from the game, did not receive a suspension. Davis will donate the money to the Baseball Assistance Team, which aids retired players.
* Jason Bay has been cleared to begin running this weekend, but has not yet resumed baseball activities as he recovers from the concussion he sustained on June 15.
* David Wright’s eighth-inning walk on Thursday moved him into sole possession of first place on the club’s all-time list. Wright, who walked last night and now has 582 base-on-balls, moved ahead of Darryl Strawberry. Wright’s home run tied him for third with Howard Johnson on the club’s all-time list with 192. Strawberry is No. 1 with 252.Follow @NYPostsports