|New York Mets (33-29) at Tampa Bay Rays (35-26)||7:10 PM ET|
|Season||Rd/Hm||Last Start||Last 3 App|
|R. Dickey (R)||12||9-1||2.44||6.0||4-1||3.58||6/7||@WSH||W||7.1||4||0||3-0||23.2||0.00|
|D. Price (L)||12||8-3||2.40||6.1||4-1||0.96||6/7||@NYY||W||5.0||3||1||2-0||19.1||0.93|
Dickey will lead the New York Mets against David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays tonight in the middle portion of a three-game series from Tropicana Field in a battle of wins leaders for their respective leagues.
One of only two pitchers (Lance Lynn) with nine wins this season, Dickey is deserving of an All-Star nod with a 9-1 mark in 12 starts and a 2.44 ERA.
The 37-year-old knuckleballer is riding a career-high scoreless streak of 24 2/3 innings and is 7-0 with a 1.55 earned run average with 63 strikeouts and 12 walks in his last nine appearances. He has a 4-0 record and a microscopic 0.29 ERA in the previous four trips to the hill. In last Thursday's 3-1 win at Washington, Dickey kept the Nationals off the scoreboard for 7 1/3 innings, one start after shutting out St. Louis on June 2.
Dickey, a right-hander, is the first Mets pitcher to have nine wins through 58 team games since Tom Glavine back in 2006. He is also approaching Jerry Koosman's franchise-record scoreless innings streak of 31 2/3 innings set back in the 1973 campaign. Dickey, who is 4-1 in six road starts in 2012, is 0-2 with an 8.35 ERA in six career games (2 starts) against Tampa Bay. He has pitched at Tropicana Field three times, going 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA.
New York will try to make Dickey the majors' first 10-game winner tonight after bashing Tampa Bay, 11-2, in Tuesday's series opener. Ike Davis homered and drove in three runs, Kirk Nieuwenhuis had three hits and three runs scored and Jordany Valdespin finished with four RBI in the outburst. Lucas Duda had two hits, an RBI and a run scored, and has hit safely in his last 15 games.
Scott Hairston had the night off and is batting .406 with five home runs, 10 RBI, 10 runs scored and three stolen bases over his last 13 games.
Mets starter Chris Young allowed nine hits and a pair of runs over 5 2/3 innings to get his first major league victory since April 5 last year in Philadelphia. Young had season-ending surgery May 17, 2011 to repair a tear of the anterior capsule in his throwing shoulder.
"His velocity went up as the game went along, which I thought was good," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "It's just one of those things where he started to feel better and started to let go of it harder."
New York starters are 11-4 over the last 20 games.
The Mets, who were swept at Yankee Stadium over the weekend and sit five games off the lead in the NL East, won for just the second time in their last eight contests and are 2-5 on a nine-game road trip. They have homered 12 times this month, while David Wright is one home run shy of tying Howard Johnson for third place on the club's all-time list with 192.
Tampa Bay was hammered in its opener of a six-game homestand and had won four straight and six of nine games before Tuesday's debacle.
Alex Cobb was battered for six runs -- five earned -- and seven hits through 6 2/3 innings to suffer the loss for the Rays. J.P. Howell allowed three runs in relief and Cesar Ramos was reached for two more.
"It was kind of a flat game for us, but Alex was good," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Hideki Matsui celebrated his 38th birthday Tuesday and had an RBI single, while Matt Joyce recorded a trio of hits for Tampa Bay, which is now tied with Baltimore for second place in the AL East at one game behind New York.
The Rays will also host Miami for three games on their homestand.
Meanwhile, Price leads the Rays with eight wins and was an All-Star in both 2010 and 2011. The young left-hander is 2-0 with a sparkling 0.93 earned run average in his last three starts and pitched five innings due to control issues in last Thursday's 7-3 win at Yankee Stadium. He struck out eight batters and held the Yankees to a run and three hits.
He is 8-3 with a team-best 2.40 ERA in 12 starts this season and 4-1 in five starts at the Trop. Price has never faced the Mets in his career.
New York and Tampa Bay are meeting for the first time since the Rays won two of three meetings back in 2009. The Mets haven't been the visitor in this series since the 2001 campaign, losing two of three.