NEW YORK -- Pining for Jose Reyes, the Mets played their final game without their starting shortstop in the first half of Monday's twi-night doubleheader against the Marlins. And they played quite well. R.A. Dickey's seven shutout innings paced the Mets in a 2-1 victory over the Fish at Citi Field.
"It felt like a while," said Dickey, who had not won since July 25.
Striking out four of Florida's first six batters, Dickey did not allow a runner to reach scoring position until Logan Morrison hit a one-out double in the sixth. The Marlins then put two runners on base with no outs in the seventh inning, but Dickey -- using an unorthodox, sidearm move -- picked Mike Cameron off second to stunt the rally.
"Not having a ligament in your right arm helps," Dickey said of the pickoff. "I wouldn't suggest that other people try that, but it's something I've been able to do for a long time. Every Spring Training I work on it."
Lasting seven innings in total, Dickey submitted his longest scoreless outing since a one-hit shutout against the Phillies last August. He allowed seven hits and one walk, striking out six. Since May 20, Dickey has posted a 2.93 ERA with 87 strikeouts and 26 walks, despite a 5-6 record over that 19-start span.
"Wins and losses are nice, but it's not the metric that I measure my season by," Dickey said. "If there's a win or a loss by my name, if the team gets the win -- I know it sounds cliché, but that's what you want as a starting pitcher."
"He had everything going for him today," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. "Give him his due. He pitched a good game."
In relief of Dickey, Jason Isringhausen struck out the side in the eighth inning, before newly minted closer Bobby Parnell recorded his second consecutive save despite allowing Gaby Sanchez's booming solo homer.
Stranding two runners on base in the first inning, the Mets plated their first run off Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez on Justin Turner's single in the second. Josh Thole added more offense an inning later on his grounder to first base, when Anibal Sanchez stepped off the bag to prevent a rally-killing double play. Though the episode prompted a lengthy argument from McKeon, replays clearly showed that the pitcher's foot was indeed off the base.
The Mets needed the break, considering they stranded seven runners on base over the first three innings. Settling down after those early hiccups, Sanchez allowed a total of two runs on seven hits and four walks.
Nick Evans and Lucas Duda, who scored New York's two runs, finished a combined 5-for-8 at the plate.
Reyes, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 8 with a strained left hamstring, returned for Monday's nightcap against the Marlins. He entered the day leading the National League with a .336 batting average and 16 triples.