Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/30/12

LOS ANGELES -- R.A. Dickey needed little run support on Friday night but the New York Mets provided it anyway, drubbing the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-0 at Dodger Stadium for their third straight win.

Dickey (12-1) pitched eight scoreless innings and allowed just three hits to become the first pitcher in the major leagues with 12 wins. Dickey walked one and struck out 10, the fifth time in his last eight starts that he has reached double digits in strikeouts.

"He was throwing it harder than I'm used to seeing him throw it," said Tony Gwynn Jr., who went 1-for-3 against Dickey's knuckleball. "He threw a lot of strikes with it, and when the ball breaks like that it's hard to make contact with it."

Daniel Murphy doubled, homered and drove in a season-high five runs. After beginning the season with no home runs in his first 73 games, Murphy has three home runs and nine runs batted in over the last three days for the Mets, who moved one game ahead of the Atlanta Braves into sole possession of second place in the National League East, 3 1/2 games behind the Washington Nationals.

Ruben Tejada tied a career high with four hits for the Mets and is hitting .370 (10-for-27) in six games since returning from the disabled list with a right quad strain.

"You can see what an important piece of the lineup he is when he's back in there," said Mets manager Terry Collins.

Losing pitcher Aaron Harang (5-5) allowed five runs and 12 baserunners in 5 2/3 innings.

The Dodgers, who have lost six straight and 10 of their last 11 games, continued to struggle on offense. The Dodgers have been held scoreless in 47 of their last 48 innings and have been shut out four times in their last five games.

The Mets loaded the bases in the first inning, but Harang struck out Daniel Murphy to end the threat without any damage.

The top of the lineup threatened again and made it count in the third inning, when Andres Torres reached on second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr.'s fielding error, then scored after singles by Ruben Tejada and David Wright. Ike Davis followed with a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 Mets lead and his 21st RBI in his last 17 games.

The Mets broke it open with three runs in the fifth highlighted by a two-run double to right field by Daniel Murphy that gave New York a 5-0 lead.

Dickey retired the first eight Dodgers he faced, and the first hit he allowed came from an unlikely source. Harang, a career .090 hitter who was 1-for-27 on the season entering Friday's game, hit a knuckleball into left field for his second hit of the season.

Dickey, who is second in the National League with 116 strikeouts and third with a 2.15 ERA, has a strong case to start the All-Star Game on the mound for the senior circuit at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on July 10.

"Just getting to the All-Star Game would be an honor. It would add a real legitimacy to the knuckleball," Dickey said. "A lot of people think the knuckleball is a gimmick, but I'd like to prove that it's much more than that."

NOTES: Both benches were warned by home plate umpire Todd Tichenor in the sixth inning when Dickey hit Dee Gordon with a fastball with two outs, after Harang hit Tejada during the preceding inning. ... Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp still needs to pass a round of tests with the team training staff before playing in any minor league rehab games, though the plan is for him to have played rehab games before competing in the Home Run Derby in Kansas City on July 9. ... Mets pitcher Frank Francisco, who went on the disabled list June 24 with a left oblique strain, will retain his role as closer upon his return. "When Frankie comes back, if he's throwing like he was, that's his job. That's why we brought him here," Collins said. ... Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis, who had fasciotomy surgery to relieve pressure in his left leg on May 19, will begin a four-game rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday. He hopes to return to the Dodgers for their four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix starting on July 5.

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