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R.A. Dickey became the first major league pitcher in 24 years to throw consecutive one-hitters and Ike Davis hit a grand slam to lead the New York Mets past the Baltimore Orioles 5-0 on Monday night.
Coming off a one-hit gem at Tampa Bay last Wednesday, the knuckleballer struck out a career-high 13 and allowed only Wilson Betemit's clean single in the fifth inning.
The previous pitcher to throw consecutive one-hitters was Dave Stieb for Toronto in September 1988, according to STATS LLC. The Mets said the last to do it in the National League was Jim Tobin with the Boston Braves in 1944, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.
The 37-year-old Dickey (11-1) walked two and became the first 11-game winner in the majors, baffling Baltimore with knucklers that ranged from 66-81 mph in a game that took just 2 hours, 7 minutes. He fanned his final two hitters, topping his previous career best of 12 strikeouts set Wednesday against the Rays.
Dickey has won nine straight decisions and six consecutive starts. It was his fourth game this season with double-digit strikeouts and the fifth of his career. The right-hander has an incredible 71 strikeouts and six walks in his last seven starts, lowering his ERA to 2.00.
Betemit's two-out single in the fifth ended Dickey's streak of 13 hitless innings going back to Wednesday. The only blemish in that game was B.J. Upton's infield single with two outs in the first, a high bouncer that third baseman David Wright tried to field with his bare hand.
After the game, the Mets appealed the official scoring decision to Major League Baseball, asking the commissioner's office to review the play and consider whether Wright should be charged with an error, thus giving Dickey the team's second no-hitter this month. The appeal was denied and Dickey said he was relieved, explaining that there would have been "an asterisk by it bigger than the no-hitter itself."
One thing not in dispute is that Dickey has been one of baseball's most dominant pitchers all season. And one of the people he can thank for that is Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who was instrumental in persuading Dickey to remake himself into a knuckleballer when both were in Texas.
- Associated Press