RA Dickey won his match-up against Gio Gonzalez for the major league lead in wins as the New York Mets broke their season-high six-game losing streak by crushing the Washington Nationals 9-5 in the MLB.
Dickey (13-1, 2.72 earned run average), benefiting from two home runs and five runs batted in by David Wright, pitched seven and a third innings, scattering 10 hits while giving up four runs.
He said while it was nice to break into the win column, the play-offs are a long way off.
"It's obvious that we have not been playing to our capability," said the 37-year-old Dickey. "But I don't think anybody has panicked.
"If you think of this game as a must-win, you're just going to run out of gas quickly. It was nice to get a win today but it's not more important than the win yesterday we didn't get."
Dickey won his 11th straight game for the Mets (47-45), who were 0-5 on their six-game road swing and now head home to face the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Gonzalez (12-5, 3.32 ERA) lasted only three and a third innings, giving up six runs on six hits and three walks before 36,389 on a steamy afternoon at Nationals Park.
"It was one of those days," Davey Johnson, the Nationals manager, said of his All-Star southpaw. "He didn't have too much. Didn't have too much command. A lot of things weren't going for him."
Washington still has the best record in the National League at 53-37 and hold a three-and-a-half game lead in the East over the Atlanta Braves, who defeated the San Francisco Giants 3-2 in their game on Thursday.
Wright got the Mets on the board in the first with a two-run shot and then clubbed a three-run blast, his 14th of the season, in the fourth as the Mets jumped out to a 9-1 lead.
"It's something we've struggled with, this series especially, scoring runs early," said Wright, who is batting .353. "So it was nice to be able to jump on a guy that could go on to win the Cy Young.
"Letting RA coast a little bit was big for us."
The Mets, seven games behind Washington in the East, return home to Citi Field to host the Dodgers for three games before the Nationals come to town for another three-game set.
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