PHILADELPHIA (AP) — R.A. Dickey used one knuckleball after another to work out of jams.
Dickey threw seven sharp innings, Jason Bay hit a two-run homer and the New York Mets beat Cliff Lee and the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2 on Friday night.
Scott Hairston also homered for the surprising Mets, who are off to a 5-2 start.
Freddy Galvis hit his first major league homer for the Phillies. The five-time defending NL East champs are 3-4.
Dickey (2-0) allowed just one run despite nine hits. The righty struck out seven and lowered his ERA against Philadelphia to 2.40 in seven career starts.
“I had a lot of baserunners, that’s for sure,” Dickey said. “But ultimately the game comes down to four or five pitches. Fortunately I was able to make the pitch. Cliff Lee is one of the best. He outpitched me in a lot of ways. But we were able to make the big pitch and minimize the damage.”
Dickey has compiled 14 straight quality starts — six or more innings with three earned runs or less — dating to July 25.
“You come to expect that from him,” manager Terry Collins said. “When he takes the mound, his sole purpose is to keep the team in the game for as long as he could.”
Lee (0-1) gave up four runs and five hits in seven innings, striking out seven. He allowed just nine runs in his previous 11 starts, spanning 83 2-3 innings.
The Mets played without David Wright for the third straight game. The five-time All-Star third baseman has a broken right pinkie, but he could be in the lineup Saturday. Collins didn’t rule out a stint on the disabled list if Wright can’t play.
Justin Turner filled in for Wright and made an outstanding defensive play on Shane Victorino’s hard one-hopper in the seventh.
The Mets came out swinging against Lee. Ruben Tejada lined a double to left to start the game and Daniel Murphy followed with an RBI double. Lee got the next two outs before Bay launched a drive to the seats in right-center to make it 3-0.
“You can’t let good pitchers dominate you,” Collins said. “If you get something you can hit, you better hit it.”
Galvis got the Phillies within 3-1 when he led off the third with a towering shot to right. The rookie received the silent treatment from teammates when he returned to the dugout before they walked over to give him hugs and high-fives.
Hairston hit a deep drive to left leading off the fifth to put the Mets up 4-1.
“I felt fine,” Lee said. “Location was off at the start of the game.”
Mets catcher Josh Thole made an embarrassing mental blunder in the second after reaching on an infield single. Dickey bunted him over to second, but Thole thought the ball went foul and started jogging back to first. He was tagged out for a double play.
“I was coming into second and Jimmy (Rollins) put his hands up like, `You can come in easy,”‘ Thole said. “I checked and saw it was fair, but I took off back to first for no reason. It was a lackadaisical play.”
Dickey was disappointed he didn’t get credit for a sacrifice.
“Off Cliff Lee, that’s absurd,” he joked. “I’m glad we can laugh about it now.”
Lee ripped line-drive singles in his first two at-bats. He came out for pinch-hitter Laynce Nix in the seventh. Nix grounded into a double play.
NOTES: The Phillies signed INF Mike Fontenot to a minor league contract. Fontenot was released by San Francisco on April 3. … A crowd of 45,429 was the 224th straight sellout at Citizens Bank Park, including postseason play. … Dickey’s streak of quality starts is the longest in the majors. … Lee had allowed just one run in 14 innings in two career starts vs. the Mets. … Rollins was 1 for 14 against Dickey before lining a double in the first. … Victorino, a switch-hitter, batted right-handed against Dickey. He went 1 for 4 against him. Rollins, another switch-hitter, stayed on the left side and was 2 for 3 off Dickey. … Collins said Murphy would move from second base to third if Wright has to go on the DL. Murphy made an error in the ninth that allowed a run to score. … RHP Vance Worley goes for the Phillies against LHP Jonathon Niese (1-0) on Saturday afternoon. Worley is 3-1 vs. New York. Niese is 3-4 vs. Philadelphia.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)