WASHINGTON (AP) _ R.A. Dickey has had a memorable season,
including consecutive one-hitters and an All-Star team selection.
On Thursday, Dickey broke a streak of rare ineffectiveness this

After throwing consecutive one-hitters last month, Dickey had
won just one of four starts _ getting no-decisions in three of
them. In his past two, he gave up five runs in each game.
He had help from David Wright, who homered twice and had five
RBIs and Dickey won his league-leading 13th game and the New York
Mets broke a six-game losing streak with a 9-5 win over the
Washington Nationals.

Dickey (13-1) pitched 7 1-3 innings. He gave up four runs _
three earned _ and 10 hits. He walked one and struck out five.
“I haven’t pitched as well as I have in that streak. That’s
hard to expect,” Dickey said.
“You have to have a lot of cooperation. Recently, I’ve just
been so-so. Hopefully, I get a second wind here.”

The Mets staked him to a 9-1 lead on a hot, humid day.
Dickey said it wasn’t really that hot. He compared it with a day
when the temperature reached 115 degrees in Zulia, Venezuela, in
winter ball.
“I threw a three-hit shutout. I just tried to remember that.
I’ve done this before,” Dickey said.
He tried not to put too much pressure on himself to break the
“I don’t think anybody has panicked. As far as this being a
`must-win,’ if you do that, you’re just going to run out of gas
quickly,” Dickey said.
“If you play that game, you’ll drain yourself mentally before
it’s even the end of August.”

The Nationals lead Atlanta, which won Thursday afternoon by 3
1/2 games. The Mets are seven back.
“From here on out, a win is obviously a big win. We’ve dug
ourselves a big hole, but the funny thing is we’ve haven’t played
terribly,” Wright said.
“I think we’ve given an inning away here and there on this road
trip, and that’s come back to cost us, but it seemed like every
game we had a chance to win.”

New York manager Terry Collins called a team meeting before
Wednesday’s game and he was hopeful that Dickey could put a stop to
the slide.
“If you’re getting past four games, that means they’re beating
your aces,” Collins said.
“We needed one of them to stand up.”

Wright hit a two-run shot in the first _ his 13th off Gio
Gonzalez (12-5), who was rocked for six runs in 3 1-3 innings _ his
shortest start of the season.

Wright’s second home run, his 14th, a three-run blast, came in
the fourth off Craig Stammen. He also homered in his last at-bat in
Wednesday night’s game.
“Nobody matches up that good against David Wright right now,”

Washington manager Davey Johnson said.
Ike Davis homered in the second and had an RBI single in the
third and Ruben Tejada had two hits and an RBI for the Mets.
Gonzalez allowed six runs and six hits in his second attempt to
win his 13th.
“A good team like that, the way they swing the bat, if you
leave anything up there, they’re gonna make you pay for it. I
learned firsthand about that,” Gonzalez said.

The Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman hit a first-inning home run, his
11th, and by the time Washington scored again, the Mets had an
eight-run lead.

Michael Morse had two RBIs for the Nationals.

NOTES: Washington activated RHP Drew Storen from the disabled
list. He hadn’t pitched this season due to April surgery to remove
bone chips from his right elbow. Storen pitched a scoreless ninth.
He was greeted warmly by the crowd. “It was pretty emotional for
me to get a great ovation from the fans. It made the three or four
months I was out seem a little bit shorter,” Storen said. … OF
Rick Ankiel was designated for assignment. C Jhonatan Solano was
placed on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle and C
Sandy Leon was recalled from Double-A Harrisburg. Leon had his
first major league hit in the seventh. … The Nationals are
temporarily carrying 13 pitchers and just four extra position
players. … Johnson said that LHP John Lannan would be recalled to
pitch the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader against Atlanta.
… Dickey committed a throwing error in the fifth. New York had
gone 11 games without an error. … Mets OF Mike Baxter, who’s on
the 15-day DL with injuries to his collarbone and ribs, is playing
at St. Lucie, but hasn’t played in the field yet. Collins says
Baxter isn’t yet close to returning. … New York plays Los Angeles
on Friday. LHP Johan Santana (6-6, 3.59) faces RHP Aaron Harang.

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


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