jueves, 7 de junio de 2012

Mets beat Nationals; Dickey extends scoreless streak

Washington — Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey kept Washington swinging at shadows on a sunny afternoon, Lucas Duda homered again and the New York Mets averted a sweep, beating the Nationals 3-1 Thursday.

Dickey (9-1) tossed four-hit ball for scoreless 7 1-3 innings and extended the longest shutout streak of his career to 24 2-3 innings — a span that began against Pittsburgh and continued against San Diego, St. Louis and the Nats.

Dickey became the first pitcher in the majors to reach nine wins this season. He also exceeded his victory total from last year, when he often was the victim of poor run support.

Duda backed Dickey with his fifth homer in eight games, a two-run shot in the fifth against Chien-Ming Wang (1-2).

Daniel Murphy, who earlier bounced into an inning-ending double play that left him in a 0-for-19 rut, later added an RBI single.

The way Dickey has been pitching lately, three runs were more than enough. He limited the Nationals to only singles, struck out eight and walked two. Most of the outs were soft ones and when Adam LaRoche worked out an 11-pitch walk, it was a major accomplishment.

Washington never got a runner past second base when Dickey was on the mound. He left after Jhonatan Solano’s one-out single in the eighth and reliever Bobby Parnell walked Rick Ankiel. After the runners moved up on a grounder, Bryce Harper grounded out to end the threat.

Frank Francisco gave up Ryan Zimmerman’s leadoff home run in the ninth before closing for his 15th save in 18 chances.

The win stopped the Mets’ three-game losing streak heading into the Subway Series that begins Friday night at Yankee Stadium. The Mets had lost the first two at Nationals Park in the series.

Wang allowed eight hits in 5 1-3 innings in his second start of the season. The Mets won for just the second time in 10 meetings with Washington since last September.

There wasn’t a whole lot for Nationals fans to cheer about on a bright afternoon until Zimmerman’s third homer. Midway through the game, however, there was a ripple of applause throughout the crowd of 32,096 when clouds briefly blocked the glare.

New York Mets, Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, the Nationals, Lucas Duda, Washington, Washington, The Mets, Bryce Harper, sunny afternoon, Dickey, Chien-Ming Wang, Bobby Parnell, Nationals, Adam LaRoche, Rick Ankiel


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