NEW YORK (AP) — David Wright was touched by the outpouring of congratulations he received for becoming the Mets’ career RBIs leader from Citi Field’s security guards to the clubhouse boys to his teammates.
What really motivates him, though, is his desire to win a World Series with the team he grew up rooting for.
Wright hit a go-ahead two-run homer to break a tie with Darryl Strawberry atop the club’s all-time RBIs list, R.A. Dickey outpitched Mark Buehrle in a crafty duel and New York beat the Miami Marlins 5-1 on Wednesday night.
“It’s nice being mentioned for the individual things but what I really want is to be mentioned, have that type of legacy that those guys had in `86 and even the Mike Piazza era and the Subway Series,” the 29-year-old Wright said. “That’s ultimately where I want to be mentioned.”
Jose Reyes singled with one out in the Marlins’ eighth inning for his first hit against his former team in eight at-bats, eliciting yet another chorus of lusty boos from the crowd that once adored the ever-smiling shortstop.
Lucas Duda had an RBI single and pinch-hitter Mike Baxter hit a two-run double in the eighth, helping hand the Marlins their fourth straight loss. Miami has scored only four runs in the skid.
“I don’t know if we be facing great pitching or it’s a combination of good pitching and bad hitting. Maybe if we (had) come in another situation where we swinging the bats well, we make those guys look like nothing,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. “But right now, everybody look like Cy Young on the mound.”
Wright’s homer gave him 735 RBIs and broke a tie with Strawberry, who won a World Series title in 1986 with the Mets.
“It’s just a testament of his fortitude,” Dickey said. “That’s fun to watch as a teammate.”
In contrast to the matchup of aces Johan Santana and Josh Johnson on Tuesday night that the Mets ended up winning 2-1, Dickey (3-1) and Buehrle (1-3) rarely reached 85 mph on the scoreboard radar for seven innings. Dickey allowed three hits and a walk, and struck out seven.
Both starters were hurt by the homer, though.
Omar Infante connected in the fifth for the Marlins’ second hit and Wright went deep in the sixth, the Mets’ fourth hit of the game. Wright had matched Strawberry a week ago on the club’s RBIs chart.
Jon Rauch gave up a one-out hit in the eighth to Reyes with the Mets ahead 2-1. Having seen what the dynamic speedster could do on the bases might have spooked catcher Josh Thole. On a called third strike of Hanley Ramirez to end the inning, Thole threw down to second where no one was covering — his teammates were running off the field.
With the weather more to his liking, Dickey bounced back from a horrid outing in rainy Atlanta in which he gave up three homers and eight runs in 4 1-3 innings.
“In that situation with Atlanta, I could put it on something,” Dickey said of his lack of command. “I had a good knuckleball (Wednesday).”
After breezing through the first 4 1-3 innings this time, allowing only a hit that nicked off the glove of diving third baseman Wright, the knuckleballer gave up a homer to Infante.
Infante connected to deep left, ending a string of 10 straight outs for Miami. Reyes was right there at the top step of the Marlins dugout to greet the second baseman with one of his elaborate handshakes that Mets fans loved to see when he was playing in Queens.
The homer snapped Miami’s stretch without an earned run against Dickey at 24 innings. He was 3-0 in three starts against the Marlins last season, allowing only one unearned run.
Dickey had a 1-2-3 sixth, then Buehrle hit Kirk Nieuwenhuis with a pitch leading off the bottom half. With two outs, Wright sent a drive to center field that cleared the new fences — but would’ve hit the old green-black wall — to make it 2-1.
“I’m more frustrated by the 0-2 (pitch) to Nieuwenhuis, hitting him,” Buehrle said. “Any time you’re 0-2 on somebody and you put him on free, an 0-2 walk him or 0-2 hit `em, that’s never good.”
Wright was 2 for 20 before that homer.
“It means a lot under the circumstances,” said Wright, who got the milestone ball. It’s nice to be able to do it in that fashion, winning the game and most importantly carrying in some momentum going into (Thursday).”
Buehrle was facing the Mets for the first time in a 12-plus year career spent entirely with the Chicago White Sox until signing a free-agent deal this winter to follow his former manager to Miami. Pitching on six days’ rest, he gave up five hits and two runs.
Buehrle got some help from Gaby Sanchez in the fourth. With a runner on first and two outs, he made a diving stop behind first base on Duda’s sharp grounder to end the inning.
NOTES: The Mets signed INF Brad Emaus and OF Fred Lewis to minor league contracts and assigned both to Triple-A Buffalo. Emaus, who was the Mets’ starting second baseman on opening day last season, was playing with Laredo of the independent American Association. Lewis hit .200 (3 for 15) with Cleveland during spring training. He hit .230 with three homers and 19 RBIs for Cincinnati last season. … The Mets had no new news on pitcher Mike Pelfrey’s right elbow. The team sent the MRI results to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion. After the game, manager Terry Collins said he forgot to ask. … Marlins RF Giancarlo Stanton has not homered in 58 at-bats.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)