R.A. Dickey took a three-hitter into the ninth inning and Ike Davis hit a three-run homer, leading the Mets to a 4-0 win over the Cardinals that gave New York its first series victory in more than a month.
Angel Pagan tripled and scored twice for the Mets, who took two of three from St. Louis to drop the Cardinals into second place in the NL Central, a half-game behind idle Cincinnati. New York won for only the fifth time in 18 games but improved to 28-12 in its past 40 at home.
Working on three days' rest, Dickey showed no ill effects of the sore left hip that prompted Manager Jerry Manuel to pull the knuckleballer out of a scoreless game at Dodger Stadium in the sixth inning Sunday.
Once he was deemed completely healthy, Dickey was moved up in the rotation this week so the Mets could separate Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey, allowing 38-year-old Henry Blanco to catch both without having to play a day game after a night game.
About 12 1/2 hours after a 13th-inning single by Albert Pujols sent St. Louis to an 8-7 victory, Dickey went to the mound and shut down the Cardinals in one of the best performances of his career.
The 35-year-old journeyman, a surprise savior for the Mets since getting called up from Triple-A Buffalo, gave his team's taxed bullpen a much-needed rest in his first win since June 23.
Around the NL
Anibal Sanchez pitched a one-hitter for his first shutout since a no-hitter in September 2006 in the Marlins' 5-0 victory over the Giants. ... Ubaldo Jimenez rebounded from two rough starts to pitch seven effective innings and the Rockies snapped an eight-game skid with a 9-3 victory over the Pirates. ... Scott Olsen returned from the disabled list to win his first appearance in more than two months, Adam Dunn and Ian Desmond each homered and doubled, and the last-place Nationals beat the NL East-leading Braves 5-3. ... Oscar Salazar's pinch-hit single with one out in the ninth inning gave the NL West-leading Padres a 3-2 victory over the Dodgers. ... Wilson Valdez's RBI single with one out in the 11th inning lifted the Phillies to their eighth straight win, 3-2 over the Diamondbacks.
Around the AL
Alex Rodriguez drove in three runs without hitting his 600th homer and the Yankees used a seven-run seventh inning to beat the Indians 11-4. ... Ramon Castro homered twice and Paul Konerko went deep for the fourth straight game, leading the White Sox to their 11th consecutive home victory, 9-5 over the Mariners. ... Michael Young scored his first three times up and light-hitting Taylor Teagarden hit a two-run home run, sending the Rangers to a 7-4 victory over the Athletics.