Dickey misses no-no as Mets sweep Phils

New York Mets starter R.A. Dickey throws a New York Mets starter R.A. Dickey throws a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies in the second inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader in New York. (Sept. 24, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

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R.A. Dickey, armed with a dancing knuckleball, came within eight outs Saturday of turning an otherwise meaningless game into a magical afternoon for a crowd of 33,961 at Citi Field.

Shane Victorino's double with one out in the seventh ended Dickey's no-hit bid and the Mets had to settle for an entertaining 2-1 victory over the Phillies in Game 1 of the split doubleheader. It was the longest no-hit bid by a Mets pitcher since John Maine went 72/3 hitless innings against the Marlins on Sept. 29, 2007, at Shea Stadium.

"In all honesty, I thought it would be a great gift -- to not only the fans but to the organization," said Dickey, who wrapped up his season with 12 straight quality starts, the longest active streak in the majors. "I really felt like I had a shot today."

Dickey failed to make history, but the Mets were able to complete a doubleheader sweep of the Phillies with a 6-3 win in Game 2. Dillon Gee (13-6) allowed three runs in six innings to wrap up his season and earn his first win since Aug. 29. Manny Acosta pitched the ninth for his second save of the day. The Phillies lost their eighth straight game and are winless since clinching the NL East Sept. 17.

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Not only did Dickey lose the no-hitter, he left the game after seven innings in a 1-0 hole thanks to Ryan Howard's RBI single. But Valentino Pascucci's pinch-hit homer tied the score in the seventh and David Wright doubled home the winning run off Brad Lidge in the eighth.

The Mets and Padres are the only teams that have never thrown a no-hitter. That's 7,963 games for the Mets. Six pitchers have done it after leaving the Mets: Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, Dwight Gooden, David Cone and Hideo Nomo.

Dickey got some defensive help, too, with the best play from Nick Evans in rightfield. Jimmy Rollins smacked a drive over his head and he backpedaled furiously before making the catch and tumbling on the warning track. "I just prayed," Evans said, "and ran back as fast as I could."

Said manager Terry Collins: "In every no-hitter, somebody makes a big play. I thought that might be the play today. [Dickey] was throwing so well, with such great command of the knuckleball, I thought this might be something special today."

Notes & quotes: Lucas Duda (headaches) and Jason Isringhausen (herniated disc) could be done for the season.

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