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Mets 3, Nationals 1

The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings, and Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer to lead the New York Mets to a 3-1 win over the Washington Nationals Thursday afternoon.

Dickey (9-1) extended his personal scoreless streak to 24 2/3 and his winning streak to seven games. The Mets (32-26) snapped a three-game losing streak. Washington (32-23) also had beaten New York four straight times this season.

The right-hander scattered four singles and rarely ran into trouble. Dickey hasn't lost since an April 18 start in Atlanta. He struck out eight and walked two on 105 pitches -- 73 of which were strikes.

Dickey now has won four straight starts with a total of 38 strikeouts and just four walks. He's also gone 7-0 in his previous nine starts and has turned in 11 quality starts in 12 outings this season.

Mets manager Terry Collins pulled Dickey in the eighth, and Bobby Parnell escaped a two-on, two-outs jam. Frank Francisco worked the ninth for his 15th save despite giving up a solo homer to Ryan Zimmerman.

The Mets initially threatened in the second. Duda doubled to start the inning, and Ike Davis walked with two outs before Washington starter Chien-Ming Wang (1-2) hit Omar Quintanilla to load the bases. Dickey then hit a grounder that Wang leaped to grab before throwing him out.

Wang escaped a bases-loaded, one out jam in the third with one, this time inducing a comebacker from Daniel Murphy that started an inning-ending 1-2-3 double play.

The Mets broke through in the fifth when Duda hit a two-run homer to right-center to give New York a 2-0 lead.

They added some insurance in the seventh when David Wright led off with a walk off Tom Gorzelanny and stole second. Wright moved to third on Duda's groundout and scored when Murphy singled to put New York up, 3-0.

Washington threatened for the first time in the seventh when Zimmerman singled and Adam LaRoche followed with a walk. Michael Morse then hit a shot into the hole that Quintanilla grabbed and quickly threw to Wright at third. That forced Zimmerman, and Dickey got Ian Desmond to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Notes: The Nationals made a few roster moves before the game. They recalled first baseman/outfielder Tyler Moore from Triple-A Syracuse and put catcher Carlos Maldonado on the 15-day disabled list. That move was retroactive to May 30, as he's suffering from a lower back strain. They also activated relief pitcher Brad Lidge, who had missed the previous 38 games with an abdominal injury. Right-hander Henry Rodriguez was then placed on the DL with a strained right index finger, retroactive to June 6. ... For the Mets, Scott Hairston was a late replacement for left fielder Jason Bay in the starting lineup. Bay hadn't played since April 23, being on the DL with a non-displaced fracture of a rib on his left side. Bay was in the original starting lineup, but the change was made to Hairston in the final hour before the game began. ... Murphy ended his 0-for-19 skid when he got an infield single in the top of the fifth inning.
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