May 6, 2012 11:56 PM
NEW YORK (AP) R.A. Dickey angrily threw the resin bag and came off the mound.
Three outs from his third career shutout, he had walked the leadoff hitter in the ninth inning and given up an RBI double.
"That's my game. I've got to land the plane there," he said.
Baffling the Diamondbacks with his knuckleball, Dickey combined with two relievers on a four-hitter that led the New York Mets over Arizona 3-1 Sunday.
He was given a standing ovation when he came out. But after the game, Dickey was disappointed in himself.
"About 45 miles in our bus ride to Philly, I'll probably let up a little bit," he said. "It leaves a sour taste in my mouth simply because I have an expectation of myself in that situation, and that is not it."
A few minutes later, the 37-year-old right-hander lightened up.
"Forty miles into the bus ride might have been hyperbole," he said.
Dickey (4-1) allowed four hits in eight-plus innings, struck out four and walked four, helping New York take two of three in the weekend series.
"That thing was dancing was all over the place," said Daniel Murphy, who put the Mets ahead with a two-run single in the first off Trevor Cahill (2-3).
His socks pulled high in the old style, Dickey retired his first 10 batters before giving up an opposite-field double off the end of the bat to Gerardo Parra, a ball that dropped just fair and a few inches from the glove of sliding left fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
The Mets have never had a no-hitter in 7,996 games.
"I actually thought this might be the day," Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Dickey didn't allow a leadoff batter to reach until Cody Ransom grounded a single to left in the eighth.
"That thing was nasty today," said Justin Turner, who took over at shortstop after Ruben Tejada strained his quadriceps.
After walking Parra starting the ninth, Justin Upton followed with an RBI double that chased Dickey after 117 pitches, his most since August 2010. Tim Byrdak and Frank Francisco combined for 1-2-3 relief, allowing a pair of warning-track flyouts as they finished a game that took just 2 hours, 16 minutes.
"He threw strikes. He had the counts. He pitched the way he wanted to pitch," said John McDonald, inserted into the Arizona lineup because of the knuckleballer. "He throws them in a lot of different directions."
Celebrating his 25th birthday, Parra had two of the Diamondbacks' hits but was picked off by Dickey ending the sixth. Arizona, which dropped below .500 at 14-15, went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position in the game and 3 for 28 (.107) in the series, dropping to .221 on the season.
"They out-executed us," manager Kirk Gibson said.
Before the game, Gibson called the knuckler "maybe a cross between playing regular baseball and slo-pitch softball."
"I remember when I first faced Charlie Hough, somebody said move up in the box," Gibson recalled. "So I went up and scratched the front line of the box out, and moved up there, and he hit me."
After Dickey left, Jason Kubel flied out to the left-field warning track against Byrdak. Francisco struck out Paul Goldschmidt in a nine-pitch at-bat and Miguel Montero flied out to the right-field warning track, giving Francisco his seventh save in eight chances.
Cahill allowed allowing three runs and five hits in seven innings. Two pitches got him in trouble, both off fastballs with two outs: Murphy's single in the first and Josh Thole's RBI single in the fourth.
"I don't think I was as sharp as my last start," Cahill said, "Hopefully going home we can restart this."
Tejada got hurt in the fourth, injuring his leg when the toe of his shoe got stuck in the dirt as he ran out a bunt single. He fell face-first onto the base and didn't move.
Turner came in to play shortstop for just the third time in his big league career. Tejada went for an MRI, and the Mets planned to have an extra player in Philadelphia, just in case they put Tejada on the disabled list.
"If they think it's going to be five, six days, we'll probably have to make some move," Collins said.