The New York Mets found a way to remedy their woeful showing away from Citi Field: visit the team with the worst record in the majors.
R.A. Dickey struck out a career-high eight batters, took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning and recorded his fourth straight win, David Wright had three hits and two RBIs and designated hitter Chris Carter belted his first major league homer -- a three-run shot, no less -- as the Mets opened a three-stop tour of American League ballparks with a 5-1 win against the woeful Baltimore Orioles on Friday night at Camden Yards.
Dickey, who allowed one run in seven innings before deferring to left-hander Pedro Feliciano, became the first pitcher to open his Mets career at 4-0 since Kenny Rogers won his first five decisions in 1999, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The knuckleballer had runners on second base with no one out in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and each time wriggled free.
The Mets, who have a major league-best 24 home wins, improved to 9-18 away from Citi Field.
“I think it will help us offensively to get an extra bat in the lineup,” manager Jerry Manuel said about the impact of having a designated hitter for nine straight games. “I think our issue for the most part has been scoring runs.”
9:42 p.m.: The Mets win, 5-1.
9:26 p.m.: Matt Wieters narrowly misses a three-run homer to left field off Pedro Feliciano with two out in the eighth. Feliciano then strikes out the O's catcher and the Mets take a 5-1 lead to the ninth.
9:14 p.m.: Pedro Feliciano takes over in the bottom of the eighth with the Mets leading, 5-1. R.A. Dickey was charged with one run on seven hits while striking out a career-high eight batters. He threw 109 pitches (75 strikes). Dickey has a 2.78 ERA in five starts and is in position for his fourth straight win.
9:08 p.m.: David Wright has three hits and two RBIs. His eighth-inning double to right-center scores Angel Pagan and restores a four-run cushion.
9:02 p.m.: Well, it won't be four straight innings in which R.A. Dickey has stranded a runner in scoring position. Matt Wieters scores from third base on a knuckleball Rod Barajas can't control. Still, Mets lead, 4-1, headed to the eighth.
8:36 p.m.: R.A. Dickey has allowed a runner to reach scoring position with no one out in three straight innings and each time has kept the Orioles off the scoreboard. Mets lead, 4-0, headed to the seventh. Dickey has eight strikeouts, a new career high.
8:03 p.m.: R.A. Dickey escapes a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fourth. He strikes out Luke Scott and Adam Jones, then retires Matt Wieters on a pop-up to David Wright.
7:52 p.m.: Starting The Animal at DH pays off. Chris Carter delivers a three-run homer -- his first major league longball -- in the fourth inning as the Mets take a 4-0 lead.
7:15 p.m.: Jason Bay officially is now in a 1-for-18 rut, but he very easily could have produced an RBI in the first inning. He sent a two-out shot to the left-center gap, but O's center fielder Adam Jones snared it with a headfirst diving catch to end the inning and strand David Wright at second base. Mets lead, 1-0, as R.A. Dickey takes the mound.
7:09 p.m.: Jose Reyes, on his 27th birthday, opens the game with a double off the right-field wall. After Angel Pagan moves him to third with a groundout, David Wright -- back in the No. 3 hole -- drives in Reyes with a single.
7:05 p.m.: Lineups:
Jose Reyes, SS
Angel Pagan, CF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Jason Bay, LF
Chris Carter, DH
Rod Barajas, C
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Ruben Tejada, 2B
Corey Patterson, LF
Miguel Tejada, 3B
Nick Markakis, RF
Ty Wigginton, 1B
Luke Scott, DH
Adam Jones, CF
Matt Wieters, C
Scott Moore, 2B
Cesar Izturis, SS
Game notes: David Wright bats third for the 18th time this season. It's his second straight game there. He previously had not appeared there since April 22. Jason Bay is 1-for-17 in his last five games. Jerry Manuel said he views the Nos. 3 and 5 slots as interchangeable.