NEW YORK (AP) — R.A. Dickey won his third straight start and the New York Mets improved their impressive record at Citi Field, beating the Florida Marlins 4-3 on Friday night.
After the Mets fought back from a three-run deficit, Francisco Rodriguez retired slugger Hanley Ramirez with runners at second and third for his 11th save in 14 chances. Ramirez hit a chopper up the third base line and David Wright bounced an off-balance throw to first that easily beat Ramirez for the final out.
Mets reliever Elmer Dessens retired Ramirez on a foulout to end the seventh with runners at the corners.
Ruben Tejada provided an immediate offensive spark after coming up from the minors and Dickey delivered two hits and an RBI, pushing the Mets to 20-9 at home with their sixth consecutive victory here.
New York, 8-18 on the road, has won 16 of 20 at spacious Citi Field, which opened last year.
Jason Bay had an RBI double and Jeff Francoeur hit a tying single to help the Mets rally against Anibal Sanchez (5-3), who had won four starts in a row.
Chris Coghlan (three hits) had his fifth straight multihit game for the Marlins, who opened a tough nine-game road trip that also takes them to Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.
Florida had won six consecutive meetings with the Mets after losing to Johan Santana on opening day in New York, a streak that included a four-game sweep May 13-16 in Miami.
Making his fourth start since coming up from the minors, Dickey (3-0) yielded three runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings. The 35-year-old knuckleballer was coming off consecutive wins over Philadelphia and Milwaukee. His two hits were a career high.
Sanchez beat the Mets 7-2 on May 14 and had gone eight straight outings without giving up more than two earned runs. He was 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA during that stretch.
The right-hander yielded four runs and nine hits over 5 2-3 innings in this one.
Wright drew a one-out walk from Sanchez in the sixth and went to third on Rod Barajas' double off the left-field wall. Francoeur lined the next pitch to left for a tying single, extending his recent resurgence at the plate following a prolonged slump.
Tejada hit a fielder's choice grounder into the shortstop hole and crossed first without a relay throw. His first major league RBI gave New York a 4-3 lead.
Wright made a diving play on Brett Hayes' sharp grounder to third to open the seventh. Shortstop Jose Reyes was shaken up after Coghlan took him out on a force play at second later in the inning, but remained in the game.
New York was trailing 3-0 when Tejada opened the third with a double for his second career hit. With the infield creeping in to defend a bunt, Dickey pulled the bat back and hit a butcher-boy liner off first base for an RBI single.
Bay added a run-scoring double with two outs.
The 20-year-old Tejada was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo before the game and will be the starter at second base in the absence of Luis Castillo, placed on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised right heel.
Cody Ross tripled with two outs in the second for Florida and Cameron Maybin followed with a single.
Sanchez singled leading off the third and came home on a fielder's choice grounder by Ramirez. Another run scored on the play when first baseman Ike Davis muffed the relay throw from second for an error.
The Marlins had a chance to add more, but center fielder Angel Pagan threw out Ramirez at the plate on Jorge Cantu's single for his sixth outfield assist.
NOTES: Rodriguez blew a save opportunity in his previous outing, Wednesday at San Diego. ... Sanchez has allowed one home run in 11 starts. ... LHP Jonathon Niese will come off the disabled list to start Saturday against Marlins LHP Nate Robertson.