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Dickey Leads Mets Past D-Backs

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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Frank Francisco #48 and Josh Thole #30 of the New York Mets celebrate after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field on May 6, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 06: Frank Francisco #48 and Josh Thole #30 of the New York Mets celebrate after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field on May 6, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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By RONALD BLUM
AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) _ R.A. Dickey angrily threw the resin bag and came
off the mound.

Three outs from his third career shutout, he had walked the
leadoff hitter in the ninth inning and given up an RBI double.

“That’s my game. I’ve got to land the plane there,” he said.

Baffling the Diamondbacks with his knuckleball, Dickey combined
with two relievers on a four-hitter that led the New York Mets over
Arizona 3-1 Sunday.

He was given a standing ovation when he came out. But after the
game, Dickey was disappointed in himself.

“About 45 miles in our bus ride to Philly, I’ll probably let up
a little bit,” he said. “It leaves a sour taste in my mouth
simply because I have an expectation of myself in that situation,
and that is not it.”

A few minutes later, the 37-year-old right-hander lightened up.

“Forty miles into the bus ride might have been hyperbole,” he
said.

Dickey (4-1) allowed four hits in eight-plus innings, struck out
four and walked four, helping New York take two of three in the
weekend series.

“That thing was dancing was all over the place,” said Daniel
Murphy, who put the Mets ahead with a two-run single in the first
off Trevor Cahill (2-3).

His socks pulled high in the old style, Dickey retired his first
10 batters before giving up an opposite-field double off the end of
the bat to Gerardo Parra, a ball that dropped just fair and a few
inches from the glove of sliding left fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

The Mets have never had a no-hitter in 7,996 games.

“I actually thought this might be the day,” Mets manager Terry
Collins said.

Dickey didn’t allow a leadoff batter to reach until Cody Ransom
grounded a single to left in the eighth.

“That thing was nasty today,” said Justin Turner, who took
over at shortstop after Ruben Tejada strained his quadriceps.

After walking Parra starting the ninth, Justin Upton followed
with an RBI double that chased Dickey after 117 pitches, his most
since August 2010. Tim Byrdak and Frank Francisco combined for
1-2-3 relief, allowing a pair of warning-track flyouts as they
finished a game that took just 2 hours, 16 minutes.

“He threw strikes. He had the counts. He pitched the way he
wanted to pitch,” said John McDonald, inserted into the Arizona
lineup because of the knuckleballer. “He throws them in a lot of
different directions.”

Celebrating his 25th birthday, Parra had two of the
Diamondbacks’ hits but was picked off by Dickey ending the sixth.
Arizona, which dropped below .500 at 14-15, went 0 for 6 with
runners in scoring position in the game and 3 for 28 (.107) in the
series, dropping to .221 on the season.

“They out-executed us,” manager Kirk Gibson said.
Before the game, Gibson called the knuckler “maybe a cross
between playing regular baseball and slo-pitch softball.”

“I remember when I first faced Charlie Hough, somebody said
move up in the box,” Gibson recalled. “So I went up and scratched
the front line of the box out, and moved up there, and he hit me.”

After Dickey left, Jason Kubel flied out to the left-field
warning track against Byrdak. Francisco struck out Paul Goldschmidt
in a nine-pitch at-bat and Miguel Montero flied out to the
right-field warning track, giving Francisco his seventh save in
eight chances.

Cahill allowed allowing three runs and five hits in seven
innings. Two pitches got him in trouble, both off fastballs with
two outs: Murphy’s single in the first and Josh Thole’s RBI single
in the fourth.

“I don’t think I was as sharp as my last start,” Cahill said,
“Hopefully going home we can restart this.”

Tejada got hurt in the fourth, injuring his leg when the toe of
his shoe got stuck in the dirt as he ran out a bunt single. He fell
face-first onto the base and didn’t move.

Turner came in to play shortstop for just the third time in his
big league career. Tejada went for an MRI, and the Mets planned to
have an extra player in Philadelphia, just in case they put Tejada
on the disabled list.

“If they think it’s going to be five, six days, we’ll probably
have to make some move,” Collins said.

NOTES: Collins said RHP Chris Young, recovering from shoulder
surgery last May, will make his first minor league start of the
year Thursday for St. Lucie in the Florida State League. Collins
anticipates Young will be ready for the major league team by late
May. … Mets RHP D.J. Carrasco, activated from the disabled list
following a sprained ankle, said he wants to “redeem myself.” …
New York OF Jason Bay (broken rib) isn’t close to being ready for a
rehab assignment. … Mets 1B Ike Davis did a 360 when leaning into
the dugout unsuccessfully trying to catch Willie Bloomquist’s
sixth-inning pop.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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