SAN JUAN, PR– For the first time as a Met this season, R.A. Dickey couldn’t get the job done with his knuckler, getting hit around and only lasting five innings. The humidity didn’t help Dickey out, and the Marlins pounced on him early and often, getting the pitcher for five runs on five hits.

The Mets got a leadoff single from Jose Reyes in the first, but couldn’t produce a “Reyes run” as he was picked off by Marlins catcher Ronny Paulino.

The Marlins produced a run without the benefit of a hit in their half of the first. Chris Coghlan led off with a walk, stole second, was bunted over to third, and scored on a Jose Reyes fielding error.

The Mets tied the game in the second with a home run by Jason Bay, who’s been struggling in the power department.

After an uneven beginning to his start, Dickey seemed to get things together in the second, retiring the side in order with two strikeouts. In the third, though, everything caved in on the knuckler.

Florida pitcher Ricky Nolasco led off with a ground-rule double to deep center field. Coghlan would beat out a bunt hit, and Gaby Sanchez doubled both runners in, making it 3-1 Marlins. Hanley Ramirez lined a double down the left field line, bringing in a run, and after two outs were finally recorded, Cody Ross singled in a fifth Marlins run.

Reyes had his struggles on the turf at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. He had a ball go underneath his glove on a bad hop in the first, a ball he’d normally field cleanly at Citi Field, letting a run score. On Ross’ third inning hit, the ball got past Reyes, scoring another run. The Mets, distracted by all of the stadium festivities, played a sloppy game.

After Jason Bay’s second inning home run, Ricky Nolasco, who had been struggling for a while, retired 15 straight batters. The Mets wouldn’t get another baserunner until a David Wright single in the seventh. He would score ahead of Jason Bay’s second home run of the game, but New York still trailed 6-3.

Nolasco had a dominant outing, going seven, striking out nine, and giving up zero walks. He did allow three runs (all on Jason Bay home runs) on four hits. Dickey, meanwhile, was all over the plate with his knuckler, coming up and in on right-handers most of the time.

Fernando Nieve gave up solo home runs in the sixth and seventh, and Ryota Igarashi gave up the game-breaking three-run home run to Marlins rookie Mike Stanton in the ninth, as the Mets lost, 10-3.

Angel Pagan sat out his fifth straight game with muscle spasms, but the Mets still insist he will play tomorrow night.

The Mets will try and win the next two games in the series starting tomorrow night, when they send Hisanori Takahashi to the mound against Nate Robertson.

NL East standings (top 3 teams)
Atlanta 45-32
NY Mets 43-33 (1 1/2)
Philadelphia 40-34 (3 1/2)

Series probable pitchers:
June 29
New York: Hisanori Takahashi (2010: 6-3, 3.78 ERA) vs. Florida: Nate Robertson (2010: 6-6, 4.92 ERA)
June 30
New York: Mike Pelfrey (2010: 10-2, 2.71 ERA) vs. Florida: Chris Volstad (2010: 4-7, 4.40 ERA)

Upcoming schedule:
New York Mets:
June 29-30 @ Florida Marlins*
July 1-4 @ Washington Nationals

Florida Marlins:
June 29-30 vs. New York Mets*
July 2-4 @ Atlanta Braves

*Series is being played in San Juan, Puerto Rico

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