R.A. Dickey's last start ended up with the knuckleballer losing for just the third time this season.
The New York Mets hope their right-handed stopper can salvage the finale of a three-game series versus the Miami Marlins today at Citi Field. Dickey was aiming for his 15th win of the season in Friday's 3-1 loss at San Diego, but was reached for three runs -- two earned -- and four hits in seven innings.
Dickey, an NL Cy Young Award candidate, dropped to 14-3 in 23 games (22 starts) with a 2.82 earned run average this season and has now lost two of his previous three outings following a stretch in which he went 11-0 with a 2.41 ERA over 17 games, 16 of which were starts.
New York's All-Star hurler has won both of his starts against the Marlins this season and is 7-2 with a 3.51 ERA in 11 career games (9 starts) in this series. Dickey is 6-1 in 11 games (10 starts) at Citi Field in 2012.
Miami will counter with its ace in Josh Johnson. Johnson is 2-0 in his last three starts and pitched well in a 5-2 win at Washington on Friday. He held the Nationals to two runs -- one earned -- on five hits with nine strikeouts and no walks over 8 2/3 frames.
Johnson, a right-hander, evened his 2012 mark at 7-7 in 22 starts and lowered his earned run average to 3.85. He faced the Mets once this season and did not record a decision after he fanned nine batters over 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball in a 2-1 setback on April 24 at Citi Field. Johnson is a terrific 8-1 with a 2.59 ERA in 15 career starts against the Mets, but 1-1 in six starts at Citi Field.
The Marlins will try to give Johnson as much run support as they did for Nathan Eovaldi in last night's 13-0 bashing of the Mets. Eovaldi pitched five shutout innings for the win, but walked six batters and struck out two. Ryan Webb and Chris Hatcher both tossed two scoreless innings of relief.
More importantly, Jose Reyes extended his career-high hitting streak to 26 games with a solo home run in his first at-bat against his former team. Reyes' streak is the longest by a defending batting champion since Joe DiMaggio's MLB-record 56-game run back in 1941.
"I'm just trying to be me. I'm not thinking too much about [the streak], just trying to play my game," Reyes said.
The hitting streak is the longest in the majors this season and tied for the second-longest franchise history. Luis Castillo recorded a 35-game run back in 2002, while Emilio Bonifacio had a 26-game stretch last season. Kevin Millar had a hit in 25 straight games in 2002.
Giancarlo Stanton homered twice in his second game off the disabled list, finishing with four hits and four RBI. Greg Dobbs had two hits, including a home run, for the Marlins, who will go for the sweep today and are 4-6 on an 11-game road trip. Miami will return home following Thursday's game for a six- game residency versus the Dodgers and Phillies.
Carlos Lee went 1-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, pushing his hitting streak to 13 games.
New York has dropped three straight and four of five games, and is winless in its last nine at home. The Mets last lost nine straight at home in 2004 and haven't prevailed as the host since July 7 versus the Cubs. They dropped a franchise-record 15 in a row at home from Aug. 1-Sept. 3, 2002.
Chris Young was dealt the loss for allowing seven runs in 4 1/3 innings and Garrett Olson allowed four runs in relief.
"It's one of those games you just check off the calendar and get ready for tomorrow," Mets manager Terry Collins said.
David Wright had two hits and Ruben Tejada went 1-for-3 to extend his career- high hitting streak to 13 games. Wright still needs one more home run to reach 200 in his career and will join Darryl Strawberry (252) and Mike Piazza (220) in that category for the club. Wright also is three RBI shy of 800.
New York is winless (0-2) so far on a six-game homestand and will welcome the Atlanta Braves to town for three games over the weekend. It also owns a 7-18 mark since the All-Star break.
The Mets and Marlins have split eight meetings this season.