With all five teams over .500 and within three games of each other, no division in the AL is more competitive than the East, where Baltimore tied Tampa Bay for first place with a gutty, 2-1 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field in Tampa.
Baltimore starter Brian Matusz evened his record at 5-5, giving up just two hits over 7 1/3 innings, and got little help from Tampa Bay when the Orioles scored the eventual game winner on a wild throw by third baseman Drew Sutton that allowed Mark Reynolds to trot home from third.
The Orioles' relief staff did its job, though. Pedro Strop advanced the runners on a wild pitch, but then got Ben Zobrist to ground into an inning-ending double play after walking B.J. Upton to load the bases.
Jim Johnson delivered a flawless ninth inning to earn his 17th save of the season, tying him with Tampa's Fernando Rodney and Cleveland's Chris Perez for the most in the American League.
|R.A. Dickey: 8-1|
Dickey scattered seven hits over his nine innings, but didn't walk a single batter while whiffing nine. He also aided his own cause when he reached on a bases-loaded error in the bottom of the second. The Mets tallied three runs in the inning, more than enough for Dickey to earn his 8th win against one loss, tying him with Philly's Cole Hamels and the Cardinals' Lance Lynn for the most in the majors.
The victory - the second straight over the Cardinals in the first two games of their four-game series - left the Mets tied for second with Miami, one game behind Washington in the NL East, as the Marlins topped the Philles, 5-4, and the Nats took down Atlanta, 2-0. Stephen Strassberg shut out the Braves over seven innings, striking out nine, for his sixth win.
The win was Dickey's first complete game and first shutout of the season. He has five complete games on his career MLB record, with three shutouts.