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RA’s quality day leads to Mets 3-1 victory over D-Backs

R.A. Dickey. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

New York Mets (15-13) starting pitcher R.A. Dickey had his fifth quality start as the team finished with a 3-1 victory over the Diamondbacks (14-15) in MLB action on Sunday. The Mets have won each of their first three homestand’s this year.

R.A. followed a quality start by Johan Santana, who earned his first win of the season on Saturday. Santana threw a season-high 108 pitches and went a season-high seven innings. Dickey, meanwhile, sat down four batters also reaching a season-high in innings with eight.

 “They are going to be fine, again we played 30 games and we have a long season ahead of us,” Mets manager Terry Collins said of his starters going deep into games. “They (the starters) are going to be fine. That is the kind of pitching we are going to get, they are going to get deeper into games. We are going to be able to use the bullpen the way we are supposed to.”

Santana helped the Mets snap a season-high four game losing streak on Saturday and Collins had this to say on having the ace on the hill to help the team bounce back, “He has a lot to do with it, when you lose three in a row and you have him on the mound you figure you are going to be in the game. That always lifts you up a bit knowing that you have guys on the hill who will give you a chance to win, which he did last night and R.A. did today .”

Dickey flirted with a shutout game until the top of the ninth inning, when a walk to Gerardo Para was followed by an RBI double by Justin Upton.

“With the way the game started today I actually thought that today was going to be the day,” Collins said on the potential no-hit bid. “They were not getting good swings and when they hit the ball it resulted in ground ball outs. About the seventh inning he lost it for a bit, after the eighth Josh (Thole) came off the field and said it was back –that was the other reason why we allowed him to get back into the game.”

On the knuckleballers chances of recording a no-hitter, Collins had this to say, “R.A. has as good as chance as anyone of our starters on getting the no-hitter when his knuckleball is on it is hard to hit.”

Tim Byrdak and Frank Francisco combined to keep Arizona off the board in that frame. For Francisco the reliever has now converted seven of eight save opportunities.

Leading the way on the offensive side for New York was Ruben Tejada, who had two hits before experiencing a scary moment in the fourth inning. The shortstop was beating out a bunt single, when his foot dug into a divot in the first base line.

Replacing Tejada for today’s game was Justin Turner. Collins told the media in his post-game press conference that Ruben was in the process of getting an MRI and that the team will figure out what steps to take once the results of that were in.

“I believe we will be okay with him as the shortstop for a few days,” Collins said on using Turner as the short-term shortstop.” We don’t know how severe the injury to Tejada is yet. If the medical staff thinks it will be five or six days we will have to make a move. We are also expecting Ronny Cedeno back by the end of the week.”

Tejada, who immediately was attended too by the Mets training staff, left the field under his own power.  The 22-year-old held a .305 batting average, along with a .362 on-base percentage in 27 games prior to the injury.

Also continuing to swing a hot stick was Daniel Murphy who was 1-for-3 at the dish with a two-run single in the first inning. Murphy went 7-for-12 (.583) during the series versus Arizona. Andres Torres extended his hitting streak to six games, with his bunt single in the eighth inning.

“He (Murphy) is such a good hitter, you know he can hit for power, but what he does best is put the bat on the ball and drive runs in,” Collins said of his second baseman who has been hitting in the five-hole as of late.

Josh Thole had the game-winning run in the fourth inning, lacing a clutch single up the middle.  The Mets backstop has now hit in 14 of his last 17 games, while continuing to drive in crucial runs for New York.

The guys will now go on the road for a week long stretch in Philadelphia and Miami. Starting on Monday versus the Phillies it will be lefty starter Jon Niese (2-1, 4.08 ERA) taking on ace-righty Roy Halladay (3-2, 3.40 ERA).

Niese is 4-4 in nine career games against the Phillies, holding a 3.58 ERA (22 earned runs/55.1 innings pitched). In his last start Jon was a part of the 5-0 shutout at Citizens Bank Ballpark on April 14, sitting down five batters in 6.2 innings of work.

Autism Awareness Day: The New York Mets hosted their 10th annual Autism Awareness Day prior to the finale with the Diamondbacks. With activities for families including art therapy, video games and soccer instruction in the Bullpen Plaza; helping to hose these activities were the Queens Museum of Art and the Super Soccer Stars.

Fans were encouraged throughout the game to participate in the Autism Speaks Walk in New York City on June 3rd and anyone wanting more information can do so by clicking on the link below:


Posted on May 6, 2012 also seen on the Examiner.com site below:


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