Dickey came down with right arm inflammation in April and switched to the knuckler to alleviate the pain. When the arm improved, he better developed the pitch at Triple-A Oklahoma, going 8-1 as a starter.
The 30-year-old right-hander showed promised in his first start of the season, a 4-3 loss to Baltimore Tuesday. He allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking three but did not get a decision in his big league debut as a knuckleballer.
“I was impressed,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “I’ll take that every time out. That was a good starting spot. You didn’t see a lot of confident swings out there.”
Dickey would still like to further master the pitch. He will meet with former Rangers knuckleballer Charlie Hough when the team plays in Anaheim next week and pick Hough’s brain for any tricks of the trade.
“I’m like a 21-year-old who got drafted,” he said. “I’ve got to be like a sponge soaking up any information I can get. There is a lot to learn, and because I am older, hopefully, I will have the aptitude to do it well.”
Hank Blalock hit an RBI double in the bottom of the ninth Saturday to lift Texas 7-6 over Seattle. Alfonso Soriano and rookie Jason Botts had three hits for the Rangers, who have won four games in a row.
Mark DeRosa homered for the Rangers, their 247th of the season to break the club record set in 2001. Texas leads the majors in home runs and has an AL-record 147 at Ameriquest Field, two short of the major league home mark set by Colorado in 1996.