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Dickey goes the distance, gets 17th win

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey, who is now tied for the major-league lead with 17 wins, prides himself on being honest with his manager, Terry Collins.

If he is feeling strong late in a game, he will communicate that to his skipper. But if he is not, he won't put his interests above those of his team.

Friday night, though, Dickey did something different. He had a shutout working after eight innings, and, this time, he let Collins decide.

Collins allowed Dickey to pitch the ninth -- and it was a good choice. Dickey beat the Marlins, 3-0, earning his third shutout of the season and the sixth of his career.

It was also Dickey's fifth complete game of the season, which leads the National League and is the most by a Mets pitcher since Dwight Gooden had seven in 1993.

Dickey tied the Reds' Johnny Cueto and the Nationals' Gio Gonzalez for the wins lead.

"Most of the time," Dickey said, "it's 'I feel great, I want to come back out,' or, 'I've had enough, and I don't want to hurt our chances to win the ballgame.

"Tonight, I still felt good, but I was right in between. Terry said: 'I want to run you back out there.' It's nice to have a manager you can really communicate with."

It's also nice -- for the Mets, at least -- to have a pitcher like Dickey, who is now 17-4 with a 2.63 ERA. Dickey allowed five hits and three walks, striking out seven.

Dickey stranded two runners in the third, striking out Jose Reyes. He stranded two runners in the fourth, getting Donovan Solano to bounce into a double play.

Dickey picked off Reyes at first to end a mild threat in the sixth.

Miami's last two-on threat came in the eighth, when Reyes grounded out and Carlos Lee flied out.

Dickey pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to validate Collins' confidence. He also earned praise from Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen.

"When he gives his speech for the Cy Young, make sure he mentions the Marlins," Guillen said. "We would appreciate that."

Dickey was supported by Ike Davis, who slugged his 25th homer of the season, a two-run shot to the upper deck in right field. Davis has 18 road homers this season, the most in the National League, and has rallied from a lengthy slump to start his season.

Davis, who also had a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning and accounted for all three of the Mets RBI, hit his shot off of Marlins rookie Nathan Eovaldi, who allowed only four hits -- but three runs -- in seven innings.

"That was the main pitch I would like to have back," said Eovaldi, who allowed just one walk. "I just didn't finish the curve ball and left it out over the plate. He crushed it."
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