Phils knuckle under to Mets, Dickey, 8-0
NEW YORK — Ryan Howard and the Philadelphia Phillies must be pining for a fastball by now.
R.A. Dickey became the second straight knuckleballer to baffle the NL champs, shaking off an early line drive that hit him on his non-pitching elbow to lead the New York Mets to an 8-0 victory last night.
Two days after 43-year-old Boston knuckler Tim Wakefield tossed eight scoreless innings to beat Philadelphia 8-3, Dickey spaced seven hits over six innings to shut down the Phillies.
"You are used to guys who have everyday stuff, but it's very rare that you see a knuckleballer. Two in a row is even rarer — like Halley's Comet," Howard said. "Tomorrow we get a regular pitcher and try to right the ship."
Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur each drove in a pair of runs in the opener of a three-game series between NL East rivals at Citi Field.
PIRATES 2, REDS 1
Ryan Doumit hit a solo homer with two outs in the top of the ninth inning as Pittsburgh held on to beat Cincinnati, which tied the score 1-1 when Brandon Phillips hit his 100th career homer in the eighth.
MARLINS 6, BRAVES 4
Anibal Sanchez (4-2) allowed two runs and five hits while pitching into the seventh inning, Cody Ross hit a two-run double and host Florida beat Atlanta.
CUBS 3, DODGERS 0
Ryan Dempster (3-4) spaced three hits over eight innings and Derrek Lee, who came in with a .218 average, hit a run-scoring single and a two-run homer to lead host Chicago.
BREWERS 6, ASTROS 1
Randy Wolf (4-4) pitched seven scoreless innings, and Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks homered to help Milwaukee snap an eight-game home losing streak.
ROCKIES 3, DIAMONDBACKS 2
Jhoulys Chacin (2-3) allowed two runs and four hits over six innings, and Brad Hawpe and Troy Tulowitzki hit homers to lead host Colorado past Arizona.
GIANTS 4, NATIONALS 2
Pitcher Todd Wellemeyer (3-4) singled and scored the go-ahead run in a four-run fifth as host San Francisco stopped a 24-inning scoreless drought to end a five-game losing streak.
PADRES 1, CARDINALS 0
Jon Garland (6-2) spaced six hits over seven innings and Jerry Hairston Jr. homered to lift host San Diego over St. Louis.
ORIOLES 5, ATHLETICS 1
Ty Wigginton and Adam Jones had sacrifice flies in the sixth inning, Nick Markakis hit a solo homer and Jeremy Guthrie (3-4) gave up one run and six hits in six innings for host Baltimore.
RED SOX 2, RAYS 0
David Ortiz had a two-run double, Jon Lester (5-2) allowed one hit in six innings and Manny Delcarmen, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon completed the combined one-hitter as Boston beat Tampa Bay.
Last night's game between visiting New York and Minnesota at Target Field was suspended after a rain delay of 1 hour, 23 minutes, with the game scoreless after five innings. The game will resume in the top of the sixth inning today.
RANGERS 8, ROYALS 7
Vladimir Guerrero hit a pair of two-run homers and drove in five runs, and Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz also homered to help visiting Texas outslug Kansas City.
INDIANS 7, WHITE SOX 3
Rookie Mitch Talbot (6-3) allowed two runs and six hits over seven innings, and Jason Donald and Shin-Soo Choo homered in leading host Cleveland.
MARINERS 5, TIGERS 3
Milton Bradley homered and then drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning with a single, and Jose Lopez added a sacrifice fly to lift Seattle over Detroit.
ANGELS 8, BLUE JAYS 3
Ervin Santana (4-3) pitched a four-hitter for his second complete game against Toronto this season and Mike Napoli homered to lead host Los Angeles past the Blue Jays.
Notes: As of yesterday, Maui's Shane Victorino was third in the National League All-Star balloting among outfielders.
Milwaukee's Ryan Braun leads the balloting, followed by Phillies teammates Jayson Werth and Victorino.
Victorino led all vote-getters in the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote to claim his first All-Star spot.
This year's All-Star game is set for July 13 at Angel Stadium.