NEW YORK, N.Y. - R.A. Dickey became the first knuckleballer to win 20 games in more than three decades, matching his career high with 13 strikeouts and leading the New York Mets over the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 Thursday behind David Wright's tie-breaking, three-run homer.
A 37-year-old knuckleballer who had never won more than 11 games in any previous season, Dickey (20-6) overcame an outstanding, climbing catch by Travis Snider more than 2 feet above the right-field wall that robbed Mike Baxter of a tying home run in the second inning.
Dickey allowed three runs and eight hits in 7 2-3 innings, walking two and reaching double digits in strikeouts for the seventh time this season. He leads the NL with 222 Ks.
Kevin Correia (11-11) gave up six runs and seven hits.
REDS 2, BREWERS 1
CINCINNATI (AP) — Slumping rookie Todd Frazier tied the game with a two-out homer in the ninth inning, Dioner Navarro hit an RBI triple moments later and Cincinnati dealt a major setback to Milwaukee's playoff chances.
The Brewers slipped four games behind idle St. Louis with six games left in the race for the final NL wild card.
All they needed was one more out from closer John Axford (5-8) of Simcoe, Ont., who had converted his last 15 save chances. Frazier connected on the first pitch for his first homer since Aug. 21, tying it at 1. Jay Bruce singled and came around on Navarro's triple to deep right-centre.
Jonathan Broxton (3-1) escaped a two-on threat in the ninth to keep it 1-0.
NATIONALS 7, PHILLIES 3
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Gio Gonzalez became the first 21-game winner in the majors, Michael Morse hit two homers and Washington beat Philadelphia to move closer to an NL East title.
Bryce Harper also connected for the Nationals, who reduced their magic number to three. They have a four-game lead over Atlanta with six to play.
Gonzalez (21-8) settled down after a shaky start and lasted six innings, allowing three runs and six hits. He's the first NL lefty to win more than 20 games since Dontrelle Willis won 22 for the Florida Marlins in 2005.
The Phillies closed out their home schedule with a loss that left them on the brink of post-season elimination. They trail St. Louis by six games for the second wild-card spot with six games remaining. They finished 40-41 at home, their first losing record at 9-year-old Citizens Bank Park.
Tyler Cloyd (2-2) allowed six runs and six hits in five-plus innings.
BRAVES 6, MARLINS 2
ATLANTA (AP) — David Ross and Andrelton Simmons raced home on left-fielder Bryan Petersen's costly error, sending Tommy Hanson and Atlanta to a victory over Miami.
Hanson (13-9) allowed two runs, one earned, and six hits in 5 1-3 innings for his first win since July 30, also against Miami. The right-hander was 0-4 with a 5.06 ERA in his previous seven starts.
Miami led 2-0 before the Braves scored four runs in the fourth. Dan Uggla and Simmons had run-scoring doubles before Jacob Turner (1-4) walked Jose Constanza to load the bases.
Petersen dropped Martin Prado's sinking liner, allowing Ross and Simmons to score.
The Braves, who have clinched at least a wild-card berth, have won five in a row. They swept the three-game series to finish 14-4 against the Marlins this season. Uggla finished with three RBIs.
Miami has lost seven straight for its longest slide of a disappointing year.
GIANTS 7, DIAMONDBACKS 3
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Midseason acquisitions Hunter Pence and Marco Scutaro each hit a two-run homer in the second inning to back Barry Zito, and the NL West champion San Francisco Giants beat Arizona in their regular-season home finale.
Zito (14-8) allowed three runs in six innings to win his fourth straight start and sixth consecutive decision. The 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner with Oakland has his most wins since joining the Giants on a $126 million, seven-year contract before the 2007 season.
The Giants won their 10th straight game started by Zito. They have won eight of 10 overall.
Buster Posey had two singles and took over the lead in the race for the NL batting title at .333. Pittsburgh star Andrew McCutchen, who was injured and left a game against the Mets, is at .332.
Scutaro's seventh homer extended his career-best hitting streak to 15 games, while Pence connected for his 22nd against starter Patrick Corbin (6-8).
Hector Sanchez hit his first career homer at AT&T Park. He also had an RBI double in the six-run second.
DODGERS 8, PADRES 4
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Chris Capuano won for the first time in eight starts and Los Angeles inched closer in the wild-card race.
Luis Cruz hit a two-run single to help the Dodgers pull within three games of idle St. Louis for the final NL playoff spot. Both teams have six games remaining.
Capuano (12-11) carried a 6-0 lead into the sixth. He allowed one run and five hits in 5 1-3 innings for his first win since Aug. 12 at Miami.
Cruz had three hits, including his key single in the fifth as Los Angeles scored four runs with two outs to go ahead 5-0.
The Dodgers had 14 hits for the second straight game. Before that, the struggling offence managed more than three runs in only four of 19 games.
Matt Kemp was 2 for 5 with an RBI to finish the season against the Padres hitting .406 (26 for 64) with seven homers and 20 RBIs in 15 games.
Rookie starter Casey Kelly (2-3) gave up five runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings. He struck out six, walked two and hit two batters with pitches.
The loss assured San Diego (74-82) of its third consecutive losing season.
ROCKIES 7, CUBS 5
DENVER (AP) — Jordan Pacheco and DJ LeMahieu homered, leading Colorado over Chicago for a three-game sweep.
Pacheco, Wilin Rosario and Chris Nelson had two hits apiece for the Rockies, who had 12 hits in their final home game of 2012.
Rafael Betancourt relieved in the ninth after a run was in and there were two on with none out. He gave up an RBI double to Alfonso Soriano before finishing for his 31st save.
Chris Volstad (3-11) allowed seven runs and 10 hits in three innings.
Jhoulys Chacin (3-5) got his first win since Sept. 1. He allowed three runs on seven hits and four walks in five innings.