R.A. Dickey has been the best pitcher in baseball over his last five starts coming into tonight’s outing and this evening, the Orioles found out why.
The 37-year-old right-hander had his knuckleball dancing again tonight pitching a one-hitter as the Mets beat the Orioles 5-0 in game one of a three-game series.
Dickey has now pitched back-to-back one-hitters becoming the first pitcher to do that since Toronto’s Dave Steib in 1988.
The O’s lone hit was a single by Wilson Betemit with two outs in the fifth. Dickey improved to 11-1 with an ERA of 2.00 in 14 starts. Dickey walked two and fanned a career-high 13, throwing 114 pitches, 81 for strikes.
Over his past six starts, he is 6-0 with an ERA of 0.18 allowing just one earned run over his last 48 2/3 innings.
The scoreless tie was broken in the bottom of the sixth as Dickey led off with a single and one out later went to third on a double by Jordany Valdespin. David Wright lined out to short and the O’s just missed doubling up Dickey at third to end the inning.
That would be important due to what happened next. After Lucas Duda walked to load the bases, Ike Davis hit the first pitch out to center field for his first career grand slam. His seventh homer of the season came on the first pitch from Jake Arrieta and just like that a scoreless game turned into a 4-0 Mets lead.
That ended the Orioles bid at a third straight shutout and also their run of pitching 25 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to Friday at Atlanta. Wright added an RBI single in the eighth off Kevin Gregg.
Arrieta took the loss allowing the four runs on six hits over seven innings to fall to 3-9 with an ERA of 5.83.
With the loss, the Orioles fall to 39-28 and missed a chance to get to 13 games over the .500 mark for just the second time all year. They lost for just the second time in nine games and are now 10-5 over the last 15 games.
The Orioles are now 9-4 in interleague play and fall to 1-7 on Mondays. It’s the only day of the week where they have a losing record.
Tomorrow night at New York, it’s Tommy Hunter (3-3, 5.58 ERA) against lefty Johan Santana (4-3, 3.23 ERA).