Dickey leads Mets past Indians for 7th win in row

CLEVELAND -- Jose Reyes ignored an ugly gash on his right hand to help R.A. Dickey and the New York Mets keep winning.

Reyes, spiked during a first-inning pickoff attempt, had three hits, and Dickey won his fifth straight start as the Mets stretched their winning streak to seven games by beating the Cleveland Indians 6-4 on Thursday night.

"I'm enjoying the way we're playing," Reyes said, adding that the sliced skin between his thumb and forefinger didn't hurt. "I knew for sure I wanted to stay in the game."

Reyes scored twice and rookie Ike Davis drove in two runs for the surging Mets, who have won 18 of 23 to go from last place to a half-game behind NL East-leading Atlanta. They have six straight road wins for the first time since a six-game run in August 2008 and have won a team-record eight in a row in interleague play.

The Mets are 8-1 against AL teams entering a three-game Subway Series at Yankee Stadium starting Friday night. They took two of three from their crosstown rivals at home May 21-23.

"When you go to play the defending world champions, you've got to be playing good baseball," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "I feel good about the way we're playing."

Dickey (5-0) tied a club record for a starter by winning his first five decisions. Bobby Ojeda (1986), Armando Reynoso (1997) and Kenny Rogers (1999) also did it. Dickey is the only Met to be 5-0 in his first six starts.

"I'm more interested in being part of this collaboration of wins," Dickey said. "It's better than going 0-5, though."

The 35-year-old knuckleballer, called up May 19 from Triple-A Buffalo, allowed three runs -- two earned -- and seven hits in six innings. He struck out seven, walked two and credited pitching coach Dan Warthen for suggesting he go with his hard knuckler.

"I had runners on second and third, and he came out and encouraged me to throw the hard one," Dickey said. "It's about 4, 5 mph harder than my comfort-zone knuckler. It was a good step in my evolution, learning to adjust in-game."

Francisco Rodriguez struck out three in the ninth for his 15th save in 18 chances. He fanned Carlos Santana and Travis Hafner with a runner on second to end the game.

Reyes' RBI triple in the eighth put New York ahead 6-4. He also made several sparkling plays at shortstop.

"A tremendous game by a tremendous player," Manuel said. "You saw the real Jose Reyes."

Reyes was limited to 36 games a year ago, not playing after May 25 thanks to a right leg injury.

"I'm just so happy after what happened last year," Reyes said. "I'm doing what I like to do, play winning baseball."

Shin-Soo Choo had three hits and Hafner drove in two runs for Cleveland, losers of four in a row.

After totaling seven doubles in an 8-4 win Wednesday night, the Mets got six singles in the first inning off Jake Westbrook (4-4) to take a 3-0 lead. It nearly became their fourth five-run inning in four games -- during which the Mets got 58 hits and 32 runs.

Davis and Henry Blanco had run-scoring hits around a sacrifice fly by Jeff Francoeur. The rally ended when Chris Carter was thrown out by left fielder Shelley Duncan trying to score from second on Jesus Feliciano's single.

Westbrook might not have yielded any runs if second baseman Luis Valbuena had tagged Reyes on a pickoff play. Westbrook had the Mets' speedy leadoff man nailed, but Valbuena dropped the ball -- and spiked Reyes on the right hand.

"We pretty much had to play catch-up baseball the whole series, mainly because we didn't make some plays," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "Every time we didn't, they made us pay for it."

Jhonny Peralta's RBI single in the second got Cleveland within 3-1.

The Indians scored an unearned run in the third when Choo singled and scored from second on an error by Mets second baseman Ruben Tejada.

David Wright had a run-scoring groundout and Davis added an RBI single in the Mets' fourth for a 5-2 lead.

Westbrook allowed five runs and 11 hits in seven innings. The right-hander, who missed last season and much of 2008 after Tommy John surgery, was 4-1 in his previous seven starts.

Game notes
Mets OF Jason Bay sat out with a bruised left thigh. ... Indians OF Austin Kearns went 2-for-4, breaking an 0-for-15 streak. He singled off the third-base bag in the third. ... Mets C Henry Blanco, a .229 career hitter in 13 seasons, was 2-for-4 and has a .431 (22-of-51) average with 13 RBIs in 17 career games in Cleveland. ... Mets 2B Luis Castillo (bruised right heel) took batting practice and infield drills at the team's spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla., but isn't close to being activated. ... Mets RHP John Maine (sore shoulder) will make his second rehab start for Triple-A Buffalo on Friday.