On the same night that San Francisco's Matt Cain tossed a no-hitter against the Houston Astros, Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey nearly had a no-hitter of his own. The Rays bats never got it going in this game, managing to get just one [disputable] infield hit.
David Price was on the mound for the Rays, and did not have one of his better days as he suffered his fourth loss of the season. After four strong innings of scoreless work to begin his outing, Price imploded by letting up seven earned runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
The game was scoreless until the top of the fifth, when New York broke out with three runs via RBI singles from Mike Nickeas and Daniel Murphy.
The Mets tacked on four more runs in the sixth, getting RBI hits from Vinny Rottino, Ike Davis and Omar Quintanilla.
New York would then extend their lead to 9-0, as J.P. Howell struggled out of the 'pen for the second consecutive night. David Wright's 20th double of the year plated both Andres Torres and Daniel Murphy.
The Rays wouldn't get their first run of the game until the bottom of the ninth, when some sloppy defense from the Mets lead to an RBI groundout for Desmond Jennings. R.A. Dickey, however, went the distance throwing finishing off his outstanding 106-pitch performance. He struck out 12 Rays batters, and the one hit he allowed is being appealed by the Mets.
Upton's first inning infield single was close to being an error, as David Wright misfielded a ball at third trying to throw out the speedster on what would of been a bang-bang play. Dickey and the Mets most likely won't win the appeal, but there's no question that his outing was no-hitter quality.
The Rays drop their second straight to the Mets after sweeping the Marlins in Miami. Tampa's record falls to 35-27 (19-13 at home), and they continue to fall in the standings as the Yankees stay red-hot. The Rays are now two games behind New York, who won their sixth straight game last night. The Orioles won their fourth straight Wednesday, and take a one-game lead over the Rays as they stand alone in second place.
Notable Stat Lines:
- D. Price (L,8-4): 7 ER, 9 H, 8 K, 3 BB through 5.0 IP (109 pitches, 65 strikes). ERA now 3.01.
- B. Badenhop, J. McGee, and W. Davis: All pitched one scoreless inning (combined for 3 K, BB, and 2 H)
Rays News and Notes:
- Ben Zobrist was out of the lineup for the second straight game, but this time it was not due to a sore hand. Zobrist was sick, and according to Joe Maddon, the hand is no longer an issue.
- Luke Scott was out of the lineup as well with back stiffness. Scott was likely hurt in the Miami series, and is currently listed as day-to-day.
- Joe Maddon was voted baseball's smartest manager according to survey taken by 100 Major League players. He received 25% of the voting, which was enough to edge Mike Scioscia and Jim Leyland who also finished in the top three.
- Jeremy Hellickson threw and extra bullpen session on Tuesday, in the wake of his shaking outing in Miami which included seven walks.
- Rays' sixth-round draft pick Damion Carroll has signed for $190K (per Baseball America's Jim Callis).
- Evan Longoria could start his minor league rehab assignment tomorrow night.
- Jeremy Hellickson (4-2, 2.65 ERA) and the Rays will try to salvage a game from this three-game set today at 1:10 PM. Johan Santana (3-3, 2.96 ERA), who has enjoyed a strong season so far, will be on the mound for the Mets.