NEW YORK– R.A. Dickey came out of nowhere to impress this season when the Mets called him up, and he seems to just get better.

He didn’t have his best knuckleball today, but it was good enough to breeze by the Astros for seven-plus innings.

Not only did he pitch well, he contributed with the bat in a way his team hasn’t all season. The Mets scored four runs in the second inning against Bud Norris, and Dickey put the Mets on the board first.

The Mets entering today’s game were hitting .190 as a team with the bases loaded. After shortstop Luis Hernandez struck out, Dickey singled through the middle of the infield to bring two runs in. Astros second baseman Geoff Blum didn’t seem to give it any effort, letting the ball roll into the outfield.

The Mets would score two more runs in the inning, taking a 4-0 lead.

The Astros got a run back in the third. Catcher Jason Castro lead off with a double and scored on an infield hit by Michael Bourn.

Dickey struggled a little in the third and fourth innings, but didn’t allow another run. The Astros loaded the bases in the fourth, but the pitcher Norris grounded out to end the inning. That was the Astros final legitimate threat against the knuckler.

The Mets had an opportunity to score in their fourth, but once again failed to get the big hit. With second and third and two outs, Luis Castillo grounded back to the pitcher.

The Mets added a run in the sixth on catcher Josh Thole’s second career home run. It was a lazer shot off the facing of the Pepsi Porch in right field, making it 5-1 Mets.

Thole had a good game, benefiting from consecutive days off. He went 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored.

After throwing a good game against the Mets in Houston 10 days ago, Norris struggled today. In 5.2 innings, he allowed five runs on eight hits.

Dickey took the mound for the eighth with 106 pitches, and was pulled after allowing a leadoff hit to Tommy Manzella. He went seven-plus innings, allowing one run on six hits.

He lowed his ERA to 2.57 on the season, seventh best in the National League. He’ll qualify for another three games, before dropping out of the leaderboard.

He would win his ninth game, as the Mets defeated the Astros, 5-1. The Mets win the series and split the home stand, getting back to .500 at 65-65.

They’ll begin a 10-game road trip in Atlanta tomorrow night with Pat Misch facing Jair Jurrjens.

NL East standings
Atlanta 75-55
*Philadelphia 73-57 (2)
Florida 65-64 (9 1/2)
NY Mets 65-65 (10)
*Lead NL Wild Card; Mets 8 behind

Next series probable pitchers:
August 30
New York: Pat Misch (2010: 0-3, 3.50 ERA) vs. Atlanta: Jair Jurrjens (2010: 5-4, 4.36 ERA)
August 31
New York: Jon Niese (2010: 8-6, 3.63 ERA) vs. Atlanta: Mike Minor (2010: 2-0, 4.00 ERA)
September 1
New York: Mike Pelfrey (2010: 13-7, 3.61 ERA) vs. Atlanta: Tommy Hanson (2010: 8-10, 3.76 ERA)
September 2
New York: Johan Santana (2010: 10-9, 3.02 ERA) vs. Atlanta: Tim Hudson (2010: 15-5, 2.24 ERA)

Upcoming schedule:
New York Mets:
August 30-Sept. 2 @ Atlanta Braves
Sept. 3-5 @ Chicago Cubs

Atlanta Braves:
August 30-Sept. 2 vs. New York Mets
Sept. 3-5 @ Florida Marlins

Read more MLB news on