R.A. Dickey allows three hits in eight innings as Mets beat Dodgers, 9-0
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LOS ANGELES -- After temporarily getting derailed against the Yankees in the Subway Series, R.A. Dickey got back on track against the Dodgers on Friday night.
And now it's full speed ahead to a possible All-Star Game start.
The knuckleballer resumed the dominant pitching that was interrupted only by a subpar outing against the Yankees last Sunday. Dickey allowed three hits in eight innings as the Mets won their third straight, 9-0, at Dodger Stadium.
Dickey, who improved to 12-1 with a 2.15 ERA, allowed a third-inning single to pitcher Aaron Harang, a seventh-inning single to A.J. Ellis and an eighth-inning double to Tony Gwynn Jr. He walked a batter, hit a batter and struck out 10.
Dickey also had one of the Mets' 14 hits, a single to centerfield in the seventh.
"R.A.'s just continuing to cruise along,'' Terry Collins said. "I thought certainly it was a big weekend last weekend for him, but he came back tonight the way he's been pitching. Under control, pounding the strike zone. All of the things that you talk about that he's been so good at, he did tonight."
The All-Star rosters will be announced Sunday. NL manager Tony La Russa, the retired St. Louis Cardinals manager, already has indicated he will consider Dickey for the starting nod for the July 10 game in Kansas City. The starting pitchers won't be revealed until the day before the game.
Daniel Murphy, who went 2-for-5 with a career-high-tying five RBIs, hit his third home run in three days after going 352 at-bats without one. Murphy had a two-run double in the fifth inning and a three-run homer in the seventh. Ruben Tejada went 4-for-5 with an RBI and reached base five times.
In his previous start, Dickey allowed five runs in six innings to the Yankees. Before that, he surrendered one earned run in 482/3 innings in a remarkable six-start span.
"You give up runs from time to time,'' Dickey said. "Sometimes it's not that you're doing some grand thing differently. That's the way the ball bounces. And with the knuckleball, some times you lose a little bit of the feel of it. Then you get it back. I had a good feel for it."
The Dodgers have lost 10 of their last 11, have failed to score in 47 of their last 48 innings and have fallen out of first place in the NL West. With Matt Kemp on the disabled list with a hamstring strain and Andre Ethier unavailable because of an oblique injury, Los Angeles fielded a lineup with former Yankees Jerry Hairston Jr. and Bobby Abreu in the 3-4 spots.
That's not exactly Murderers' Row. But even Ruth, Gehrig and Co. might have had a difficult time against Dickey when his knuckleball is as fierce as it was Friday.
Dickey struck out two in the first and one in the second. The first Dodger to get the ball out of the infield was No. 8 batter Gwynn, who hit a soft fly to left. Harang followed with a single to left-centerfield that fell between Andres Torres and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, with Torres appearing to get a late jump on the ball.
That might have been a little uncomfortable for the Mets if it had been the only hit -- Dickey threw back-to-back one-hitters earlier this month -- but any controversy was averted when Ellis lined a single to right in the seventh that one-hopped Lucas Duda.
The Mets scored a pair of runs in the third inning on an RBI single by David Wright and a sacrifice fly by cleanup hitter Ike Davis. They scored three in the fifth, with Duda hitting an RBI single and Murphy contributing a two-run double to make it 5-0.
Dickey, meanwhile, struck out a pair of Dodgers in both the fourth and fifth. In the fifth, Davis dropped a one-out foul pop hit by James Loney in foul territory for an error. Dickey struck out Loney on the next pitch.
Dickey hit Dee Gordon in the backside with a first-pitch fastball with two outs in the sixth. That appeared to be retaliation for Harang hitting Tejada, who ws 3-for-3 at that point, in the top of the inning.
Said Dickey, "I knew that question was probably going to come. I'm not going to take the bait. But I'll tell you this: I tried to throw a fastball in and it slipped out of my hand."
After Gordon was hit, plate umpire Todd Tichenor warned Dickey and both benches. Dickey struck out Elian Herrera to end the inning.
Venerable Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, asked what he thought of Dickey, said: "Wonderful."
Informed of that, Dickey smiled and said, "That sounds like Scully."