MIAMI (AP) — New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey’s best season yet ended with a no-decision and some surprising news: He’ll have surgery Oct. 18.
After pitching six innings in a 4-3, 11-inning loss to the Miami Marlins, Dickey revealed he has pitched since late April with a strained oblique. Following the operation, Dickey said, he expects to be ready for the start of spring training.
Dickey struck out one-shot wonder Adam Greenberg on Tuesday, but also gave up two homers in his final start of a Cy Young-hopeful season.
Greenberg fanned on three pitches when he batted for the first time in seven years in the sixth inning. He signed a one-day contract before the game, his first since he was beaned in his major league debut in 2005.
Donovan Solano hit a game-winning, bases-loaded one-out single off Collin McHugh (0-4).
In his bid for his 21st victory, Dickey left after six innings trailing 3-0, but the Mets rallied with three runs in the eighth to tie the game. After Marlins rookie Jacob Turner allowed one run in 7 2-3 innings, beleaguered former All-Star Heath Bell helped blow their lead.
Jose Reyes tripled off McHugh to start the 11th. Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Lee were intentionally walked, and after Rob Brantly struck out, Solano grounded a single up the middle.
Solano struck out in his previous four at-bats.
Dickey had beaten the Marlins in eight consecutive starts over the past two seasons, including five this year. But he received a no-decision to end the best season of his career at 20-6 with an ERA of 2.73.
He struck out eight to increase his NL-leading total to 230.
New York scored three times after Bell entered the game with two out in the eighth. David Wright hit an RBI single, a wild pitch scored another run and Scott Hairston followed with an infield single to drive in the tying run.
Bell, who has come to symbolize the Marlins’ disappointing season, then departed to jeers from the crowd.
With the score 3-all, the Mets’ Andres Torres tripled in the ninth. But Jordany Valdespin and Ruben Tejada struck out against Steve Cishek. New York loaded the bases in the 10th before Josh Thole struck out against Ryan Webb to end the threat.
Gorkys Hernandez and Brantly each hit his third homer for Miami. Third baseman Gil Velazquez helped Turner by twice robbing the Mets of hits with nifty catches.
Chad Gaudin (4-2), who had been scheduled to start the season finale Wednesday, pitched a perfect 11th inning.
Turner, one of the few bright spots for the underachieving Marlins, allowed only three hits and two walks and lowered his ERA to 3.38. He made seven starts after being acquired from Detroit in late July and is expected to contend for a spot in the rotation next year.
Hernandez homered in the fourth for the game’s first run. Brantly led off the fifth with a home run to make the score 2-0.
Greenberg received a standing ovation from the modest crowd and his teammates when he stepped to the plate as a pinch-hitter in the sixth. Dickey threw him three consecutive knuckleballs, and Greenberg took the first for a strike, then swung at the next two and missed.
With two outs in the inning, the Marlins scored on consecutive singles by Reyes, Stanton and Lee.
Notes: Before the game, Marlins INF Nick Green was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. … Dickey has given up 24 homers, the most on the Mets’ staff.
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