NEW YORK– R.A. Dickey is becoming an absolutely amazing story for the New York Mets. The 35-year-old knuckleballer continued to roll tonight, shutting out the Tigers over eight innings of work. He allowed four hits, walked two, and struck out four, while only throwing 97 pitches.

It didn’t start off easy for Dickey though. He got into immediate trouble in the first, loading the bases with his only two walks of the game. With two outs, he got second baseman Carlos Guillen to groundout to second to end the inning, without allowing a run to score.

In the Mets’ first, they had the big opportunity to score a run, as Jose Reyes led off with a triple off Jeremy Bonderman. Unfortunately, for a rare time, the Mets couldn’t bring him in from third with none out, as Angel Pagan struck out, and David Wright and Ike Davis grounded out.

R.A. Dickey never really struggled for the rest of the game, as he allowed a hit in each the second, third, and fourth innings.

In the third, the Mets broke through against Bonderman, who hasn’t won back-to-back starts since 2007. It was a two-out rally, as Jose Reyes singled, Pagan walked, and Wright doubled a run in, his 56th RBI of the season, to lead the NL.

In the fifth, again with two outs, Jose Reyes homered to left field, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. Reyes went 3-for-3 with three runs scored, a double short of the cycle.

While Dickey was rolling with his knuckler through his final four innings, the Mets were doing what they’ve done all season, tack on runs. They scored three in the seventh off Bonderman, Joel Zumaya, and former Yankee Phil Coke.

Henry Blanco and Ruben Tejada singled. Zumaya relieved Bonderman and immediately walked the pitcher Dickey on four pitches while he was trying to bunt, loading the bases with none out. Jose Reyes grounded into a fielder’s choice as Blanco was thrown out at the plate by Carlos Guillen.

Angel Pagan was pinch-hit for by Jesus Feliciano, who drove in a run with a groundout, making it 3-0. Pagan winced after fouling a ball off in the fifth, and after the game it was revealed that he left with muscle spasms.

After Feliciano’s run-scoring groundout, David Wright walked. The lefty Phil Coke came in for Zumaya, and after throwing two nasty sliders to Ike Davis, he threw one too many, as Davis ripped a single to right, scoring two more.

Dickey had a shot at a complete game, but Jerry Manuel wanted Francisco Rodriguez to throw some pitches after not pitching in five days, so he brought him in. Rodriguez allowed a single, (what else is new) but ended the game, as the Mets shut the Tigers out 5-0.

Dickey improves to 6-0, winning his last six starts, with an ERA of 2.33. The Mets have now won 12 of 13 at home, as they are 26-10 at Citi Field this season.

They will go for the sweep tomorrow night, with Hisanori Takahashi pitching for the Mets, opposite Mr. Imperfect game Armando Galarraga.

*NL East standings (top 3 teams)
Atlanta 42-29
NY Mets 41-30 (1)
Philadelphia 37-32 (4)
*does not include ATL result

Series probable pitchers:
June 24
New York: Hisanori Takahashi (2010: 6-2, 3.13 ERA) vs. Detroit: Armando Galarraga (2010: 2-1, 3.32 ERA)

Upcoming schedule:
New York Mets:
June 24 vs. Detroit Tigers
June 25-27 vs. Minnesota Twins

Detroit Tigers:
June 24 @ New York Mets
June 25-27 @ Atlanta Braves

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