R.A. Dickey allowed one hit and struck out a career-high 12 as he outdueled David Price on Wednesday in a matchup of two of Major League Baseball’s winningest pitchers, both of whom have a significant connection to Middle Tennessee.
Dickey became this season’s first 10-game winner and set a franchise record when he extended his current scoreless streak to 32 2/3 innings in the New York Mets’ 9-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Fla.
The Montgomery Bell Academy graduate and former University of Tennessee star retired 22 straight after Rays’ outfielder B.J. Upton reached on an infield single in the first. Tampa’s only other base runner was shortstop Elliot Johnson, who got on via an error in the ninth. He eventually spoiled the shutout bid after a pair of passed balls.
Dickey, whose career has peaked thanks to an improving command of the knuckleball, is now 10-1 for the season and has 50 strikeouts, three walks and just one run allowed over his last five starts.
Price, a graduate of Blackman High School and an All-American at Vanderbilt, came into the inter-league matchup with an American League-best eight victories.
The hard-throwing left-hander held the Mets scoreless through four innings but gave up three runs in the fifth and was pulled after he allowed four runs without getting an out in the top of the sixth. He allowed nine hits and struck out eight.
Price (8-4) had allowed just two runs in his previous three starts.