Rapid Reaction: Nationals 5, Mets 2

July, 24, 2012
7/24/12
9:43
PM ET
WHAT IT MEANS: R.A. Dickey wishes it was still June.

Since the calendar turned to July, the 37-year-old knuckleballer has given up 21 runs (19 earned) on 39 hits in 26 1/3 innings, which amounts to an ERA of 6.49.

On Tuesday night, he suffered his first -- and only other -- loss since April 18. He had won 11 straight decisions -- the third-longest streak in franchise history.

Dickey’s line: 6 IP, 8 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 7 SO

The Mets (47-50), who fell, 5-2, to the Nationals at Citi Field, have lost five in a row, 11 of their last 12 and are 1-10 since the All-Star break.

Dickey (13-2) cruised through the first three innings before allowing a two-out RBI double to Danny Espinosa in the fourth. He pitched a 1-2-3 fifth, then got two quick outs before imploding in the sixth.

He gave up five straight two-out hits in the frame -- including a two-run bomb to Adam LaRoche which ended up in the second deck in right field.

RECORD TIME: Jordany Valdespin did it again. Valdespin hit his MLB-leading fifth pinch-hit homer of the season leading off the eighth. His five pinch-hit homers are the most in a single season for any batter in franchise history.

FINALLY: Ronny Cedeno gave the Mets a 1-0 lead -- their first lead in a game since Thursday -- with a two-out, RBI single down the first-base line in the second. It didn’t last. It was also the lone blemish on Gio Gonzalez’s ledger. The left-hander went seven innings and allowed just that run on two hits to improve to 13-5.

CLOWN HITTING BRO: Teenage phenom Bryce Harper went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He walked in the ninth, but was caught stealing afterward.

FINE RETURN: Manny Acosta threw a scoreless seventh after being promoted from Triple-A.

UP NEXT: Jeremy Hefner (1-3, 5.85 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (10-4, 2.85) on Wednesday in a rare 12:10 p.m. start.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
12 3.82 130 167
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .301
HRL. Duda 26
RBIL. Duda 76
RD. Murphy 73
OPSL. Duda .837
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.44
SOZ. Wheeler 155