By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer
MIAMI (AP) _ New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey’s best
season yet ended with a no-decision and some surprising news: He’ll
have surgery Oct. 18.
After pitching six innings in a 4-3, 11-inning loss to the Miami
Marlins, Dickey revealed he has pitched since late April with a
strained oblique. Following the operation, Dickey said, he expects
to be ready for the start of spring training.
Dickey struck out one-shot wonder Adam Greenberg on Tuesday, but
also gave up two homers in his final start of a Cy Young-hopeful
Greenberg fanned on three pitches when he batted for the first
time in seven years in the sixth inning. He signed a one-day
contract before the game, his first since he was beaned in his
major league debut in 2005.
Donovan Solano hit a game-winning, bases-loaded one-out single
off Collin McHugh (0-4).
In his bid for his 21st victory, Dickey left after six innings
trailing 3-0, but the Mets rallied with three runs in the eighth to
tie the game. After Marlins rookie Jacob Turner allowed one run in
7 2-3 innings, beleaguered former All-Star Heath Bell helped blow
Jose Reyes tripled off McHugh to start the 11th. Giancarlo
Stanton and Carlos Lee were intentionally walked, and after Rob
Brantly struck out, Solano grounded a single up the middle.
Solano struck out in his previous four at-bats.
Dickey had beaten the Marlins in eight consecutive starts over
the past two seasons, including five this year. But he received a
no-decision to end the best season of his career at 20-6 with an
ERA of 2.73.
He struck out eight to increase his NL-leading total to 230.
New York scored three times after Bell entered the game with two
out in the eighth. David Wright hit an RBI single, a wild pitch
scored another run and Scott Hairston followed with an infield
single to drive in the tying run.
Bell, who has come to symbolize the Marlins’ disappointing
season, then departed to jeers from the crowd.
With the score 3-all, the Mets’ Andres Torres tripled in the
ninth. But Jordany Valdespin and Ruben Tejada struck out against
Steve Cishek. New York loaded the bases in the 10th before Josh
Thole struck out against Ryan Webb to end the threat.
Gorkys Hernandez and Brantly each hit his third homer for Miami.
Third baseman Gil Velazquez helped Turner by twice robbing the Mets
of hits with nifty catches.
Chad Gaudin (4-2), who had been scheduled to start the season
finale Wednesday, pitched a perfect 11th inning.
Turner, one of the few bright spots for the underachieving
Marlins, allowed only three hits and two walks and lowered his ERA
to 3.38. He made seven starts after being acquired from Detroit in
late July and is expected to contend for a spot in the rotation
Hernandez homered in the fourth for the game’s first run.
Brantly led off the fifth with a home run to make the score 2-0.
Greenberg received a standing ovation from the modest crowd and
his teammates when he stepped to the plate as a pinch-hitter in the
sixth. Dickey threw him three consecutive knuckleballs, and
Greenberg took the first for a strike, then swung at the next two
With two outs in the inning, the Marlins scored on consecutive
singles by Reyes, Stanton and Lee.
Notes: Before the game, Marlins INF Nick Green was transferred
to the 60-day disabled list. … Dickey has given up 24 homers, the
most on the Mets’ staff.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)