Another dazzling performance could land R.A. Dickey in the New York Mets' record books.
Getting at least a win should make him the first pitcher in the majors to reach double digits.
Dickey looks to continue his outright dominance by extending his improbable scoreless streak Wednesday night when the Mets face David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Dickey (9-1, 2.44 ERA) hasn't been charged with a loss since a visit to Atlanta on April 18, going 7-0 with a 1.55 ERA while holding opponents to a .195 average in his last nine starts.
The right-handed knuckleballer has been especially brilliant while winning each of his last four trips to the mound, allowing one run in 30 2-3 innings while striking out 38 and walking three. That includes an active streak of 24 2-3 straight scoreless innings, the longest such streak for the Mets (33-29) since Mike Pelfrey went 27 in 2010.
The team record is held by Jerry Koosman, who had a run of 31 2-3 shutout innings in 1973.
Dickey got closer to those streaks with another stellar effort in a 3-1 victory at Washington on Thursday. He lasted 7 1-3 scoreless innings while yielding four hits and fanning eight to surpass his win total from 32 starts last season.
"Literally, when I go out there, the only streak I care about is getting that hitter out," Dickey said. "It doesn't change the mentality because there's a run of scoreless innings.
"I'm getting more swings and misses. Other than that, I'm not doing anything differently. I'm trying to induce them into hitting pieces of the ball, not getting solid contact."
That mentality might be one reason Dickey is in an unlikely tie for the most wins in the majors with St. Louis' Lance Lynn, who is scheduled to start an hour later Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox.
Dickey is making a start at Tampa Bay (35-26) for the first time since a loss with Texas on May 13, 2004. He may feel more confident about getting win No. 10 after watching the Mets pound out 14 hits in an 11-2 win over the Rays on Tuesday, opening this three-game set with their biggest offensive output of the season.
New York had a .199 average while scoring 23 runs during a 1-6 stretch prior to Tuesday's outburst.
Another strong performance at the plate will likely be much more difficult when they face Price (8-3, 2.40) for the first time.
The left-hander has won four of five home starts behind a 0.96 ERA. That dominance continued with a 5-0 win versus Baltimore on June 1, when he allowed four hits in 7 1-3 innings.
Price followed that up six days later by battling through five innings at Yankee Stadium with 109 pitches, giving up one run and three hits with eight strikeouts and four walks in a 7-3 win.
"David was outstanding. He only threw five innings, but it was almost like he threw a complete game," manager Joe Maddon said.
Price may face rookie Jordany Valdespin, who was used as a designated hitter Tuesday by Mets manager Terry Collins. That move resulted in a pair of hits and four RBIs.
Ike Davis is also looking to build on a surprising offensive effort, getting two hits with a homer and three RBIs. The first baseman has four hits in his last three games to see his season average jump 16 points to .174.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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