By FRED GOODALLAP Baseball Writer
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ R.A. Dickey allowed only an infield
single during his second career one-hitter and broke the New York
Mets’ record for consecutive scoreless innings in a 9-1 victory
over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night.
Dickey (10-1) became the first 10-game winner in the major
leagues and ran his career-best shutout streak to 32 2-3 innings
before yielding an unearned run in the ninth. That topped the
previous club mark of 31 2-3 scoreless innings in a row set by
Jerry Koosman in 1973.
B.J. Upton’s high bouncer to third base in the first inning was
the lone hit off Dickey, who set a career best with 12 strikeouts
and did not walk a batter. The 37-year-old knuckleballer permitted
only one other baserunner, on a throwing error by third baseman
David Wright in the ninth.
Wright tried to make a barehand play on the speedy Upton in the
first, but couldn’t hang onto the ball.
Dickey outpitched AL wins leader David Price (8-4). In his last
five outings, the right-hander has struck out 50 and walked three.
He is 8-0 in his past 10 starts.
Besides the good fortune for Upton, Tampa Bay didn’t come close
to getting another hit. In fact, the Rays only managed to hit four
balls out of the infield all night _ three routine fly balls to
center field and one to left _ as Dickey came close to pitching the
team’s second no-hitter in two weeks.
Johan Santana held St. Louis hitless on June 1, the first
no-hitter in the Mets’ 51-year history.
Dickey, whose eight straight wins also are a career best, lost
his shutout in the ninth. Elliot Johnson reached on Wright’s
throwing error, then advanced to third on a pair of passed balls by
Mike Nickeas before scoring when Desmond Jennings grounded out.
Daniel Murphy and Omar Quintanilla drove in two runs apiece for
the Mets. Nickeas ended an 0-for-14 drought with an RBI single, and
Vinny Rottino and Ike Davis also drove in runs for New York, which
has rebounded from being swept by the Yankees in a weekend series
to win two straight from Tampa Bay by a combined score of 20-2.
Wright capped a 14-hit outburst with a two-run double in the
Price, who is tied for the AL wins lead, allowed a season-high
seven runs on nine hits in five-plus innings. He walked three and
struck out eight.
According to STATS LLC, the starting pitching matchup was only
the second since 1921 to feature the AL and NL wins leaders during
the regular season. The other was Boston’s Josh Beckett and San
Diego’s Jake Peavy on June 24, 2007. The Rays said it has only
happened three times in the last 50 World Series, with Atlanta’s
John Smoltz facing the Yankees’ Andy Pettitte in 1996, Toronto’s
Jack Morris facing Atlanta’s Tom Glavine in 1992 and the Dodgers’
Sandy Koufax going against the Yankees’ Whitey Ford twice in 1963.
Price limited the Mets to Andres Torres’ first-inning single and
three walks until New York finally broke through against the
left-hander in the fifth, with the struggling Davis and Nickeas
leading the way.
Davis, batting .174, doubled to right. Nickeas, batting just
.134, followed with his RBI single to drive in the first run of the
game. Price struck out Quintanilla before giving up a double to
Torres and the two-run single to Murphy that put the Mets up 3-0.
The Rays’ starter departed after giving up four straight hits to
begin the sixth, including Rottino’s RBI double and Davis’ RBI
single that hiked the lead to 5-0. Quintanilla’s bases-loaded
single off Burke Badenhop drove in the final two runs charged to
Price, who had allowed a total of seven runs over his previous five
NOTES: Mets manager Terry Collins was selected to serve as one
of the NL coaches for the All-Star game. … Tampa Bay’s Ben
Zobrist was out of the lineup for the second straight night. The
second baseman has a sore right hand that was injured while sliding
into second base at Miami on Sunday, but manager Joe Maddon said
Zobrist did not play Tuesday night because he was ill. … Rays DH
Luke Scott, who has not started the last seven games, is day to day
with a stiff back. … Mets LF Jason Bay went 1 for 4 and is 1 for
20 since returning from a long stint on the disabled list with a
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)