MIAMI – The New York Mets waited more than two months to win a series on the road last year.
This season, it took only a weekend.
Willie Harris and Ike Davis homered, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey picked up where he left off last year and the Mets beat the Florida Marlins 9-2 on Sunday to win their season-opening series.
"(Last season) we kept thinking we've got to win on the road, we've got to win on the road and the earlier you do that the more you can have the identity that you play well on the road, you can really roll with that," Dickey said.
The Mets were 47-34 at home last season, but just 32-49 away from Citi Field. They went 2-8 in series rubber games on the road in 2010.
"You really have got to bear down on the road, there's no question about it," first-year manager Terry Collins said. "You've got to prepare yourself because you can get caught up in a field or stadium you're not comfortable with and you have to grind it out."
Dickey (1-0) allowed an unearned run and five hits, struck out seven and walked three. The right-hander went 11-9 with a 2.84 ERA last season with the Mets, easily the best year of his career.
"He is legitimate and I think he proved that last year," Collins said.
New York jumped all over Javier Vazquez (0-1), who was making his Marlins debut. Jose Reyes led off the game with a double and Harris followed with a drive over the fence in right. The Mets added another run in the first when shortstop Hanley Ramirez made an errant throw attempting to turn an inning-ending double play.
"Javy Vazquez's fastball wasn't over the zone for a strike," Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "His secondary pitches weren't working. When you get behind on the count that is what's going to happen."
Vazquez pitched a scoreless second, then unraveled after Davis hit a one-out solo drive on a 3-0 pitch in the third.
"It was probably a ball," Davis said. "I probably shouldn't have swung at it."
The next four batters reached. Daniel Murphy hit an RBI double and Josh Thole was intentionally walked before Edward Mujica replaced Vazquez, who is coming off a disappointing season with the New York Yankees
Dickey came to the plate with the bases loaded and hit a soft grounder to third baseman Emilio Bonifacio, who sailed an easy throw home over John Buck's head. Two runners scored to make it 7-0.
"This club has been built on pitching and defense and we failed in both departments," Rodriguez said.
Vazquez, who signed a $7 millon, one-year contract over the winter, was charged with seven runs, four earned, and six hits. He also walked five.
"Nothing was working," Vazquez said. "I was behind the count a lot and was not commanding the ball. Too many balls over the plate — you can't do that in the big leagues or you're going to pay."
Gaby Sanchez had three hits and drove in a run for the Marlins, who beat New York 6-2 in the opener on Friday. Omar Infante and Bonifacio had two hits apiece.
NOTES: It was the shortest start for Vazquez since August 14, 2005, when he allowed nine runs in two innings for the Diamondbacks against Atlanta. ... Marlins RF Mike Stanton (tight hamstring) did not play in the last two games of the series, but could be back Tuesday against the Nationals. ... The top three hitters in the lineup for the Marlins — Chris Coghlan, Infante, and Ramirez — hit .184 (7 for 38) in the series. ... The Mets did not win their first road series of the year last season until June 11-13 when they swept the Orioles. They went 0-6 at SunLife Stadium in 2010.