New York- Oliver Perez admitted Wednesday evening there is room for improvement but was satisfied that he was able to get the outs when they were needed. His first return to the New York Mets pitching rotation since May 2nd, after going down with tendonitis in his left knee was good enough to get the Mets by the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4.But it wasn’t easy getting the win. Perez (2-2) had limited command, the slider was not one hundred percent, and closer Frankie Rodriguez made it interesting at the end. Manny Ramirez his eighth home run to right-center in the ninth off a K-Rod fastball, and second since coming back from a 50-game suspension due to baseball’s steroid drug policy.The attention was on Perez, as the Mets defeated the Dodgers for the first time this season after failing four other times.  When Perez last pitched, he lasted just two-and- a third innings at Philadelphia and the questions continued as to why GM Omar Minaya would re-sign Perez to a three-year $36 million contract.He threw a season high 108 pitches against the Dodgers, and the seven walks issued also were a season high mark.  In his first start at Cincinnati back on April 9th, Perez walked five in his four and a third innings of work.“When you are not one hundred percent you have to get healthy and get better again,” said Perez. His defense also helped turning two double-plays. “We played strong defense and when you do that you have a chance to win, “said Perez who admitted he was nervous after throwing his first pitch.The rust of being away was evident. He walked his first hitter Rafael Furcal on four pitches. And in the third inning he loaded the bases on free passes but was able to get out of the inning without giving up a run. “One thing about Ollie he competes and gives everything he’s got,” said Mets manager Jerry Manuel.“Sometimes you just don’t have command,” commented Perez who heard boos from the 40,027, many surly remembering that Ollie has a tendency of being wild healthy or not. “Just one of those games where you have to keep your team in the game,” he said. “I feel healthy, I feel strong. I know what I have to do to get better.”And Mets fans, tired of being frustrated, because of the losing, hope Perez will get better, He is needed in the rotation with an effective Johan Santana, if not, Manuel and the team know it will that more difficult to make it a season to remember. The team also anticipates seeing the injured Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, the bulk of their offense back on the field soon.Reyes is still recovering from an ailing right calf and there is no definite return date for Beltran out with a bruised right knee. Delgado was in the Mets clubhouse before the game and said he hopes to be back sometime next month recovering from a right hip injury.The Mets gave Perez the run support, staking him to 4-1 lead before he was lifted after five innings.   The five runs scored by the Mets was their most since the nine scored in an extra winning win at Pittsburgh last week, a makeup game on the schedule. Their second inning run snapped a scoreless streak of 23.0 innings dating to the fifth inning of their July 4th loss at Philadelphia.Manuel was hoping for a game that would see some consistent pitching and some timely hitting as the Mets got nine hits. David Wright broke a 0-17 skid with a third-inning single to left-center and had his first multi-hit game since June 30th at Milwaukee with two hits. And a Daniel Murphy first-inning double, his first of two, snapped a franchise record tying span of 29.0 innings without an extra base hit“That was a big thing for us,” the manager said about Wright.  “Hopefully he’s getting ready to get in one of those hot streaks for us.”Manuel could smile for the moment because his Mets broke a four-game losing streak and took their fourth game in their last 12, beating a Dodgers team that has the best record in baseball. His team, 40-43, trailing the first place Phillies by four ½ games with four games prior to the all-star break, batted just .183 over the last four games and the offense he hopes finally came out of hibernation.And Rodriguez who recorded his 22nd save may now be in a struggle. Pitching for the first time in five days, he gave up his third home run of the season, second one in his last two games to Ramirez in that tension filled ninth inning. A double play ground ball off the bat of Andre Ethier saved the game for Perez and the Mets.Said K-Rod about his struggle, something Manuel knows he will overcome, “I have to find a way to work on my mechanics. I know what I’m doing wrong and that’s the good thing.”Now if Perez can get his mechanics straight, the Mets may have some hope for optimism.  Game three of the series continues this evening. Right hander Livan Hernandez (5-4) gets the start for New York opposed by Dodgers left hander Randy Wolf (3-3).E-mail Rich Mancuso:  Ring786@aol.com