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One pitch mars Dickey's relief outing

One pitch mars Dickey's relief outing

NEW YORK -- The energy at Citi Field reached its peak in the ninth inning on Saturday after the Mets cut their deficit to one run and the season's feel-good story, R.A. Dickey, recorded two outs on four pitches in his first relief appearance.

But just as quickly as it rose, the excitement disappeared. Juan Uribe followed James Loney's bloop single with a two-run homer that put the finishing touches on an 8-5 loss and sent many of the 33,503 in attendance toward the exits.

Dickey called the home run pitch the only bad knuckleball he threw in his inning of work, which took the place of his scheduled bullpen session after New York starters lasted only three innings in each of the past two games. Dickey will make his scheduled start on Tuesday against the Nationals, according to manager Terry Collins.

Collins planned all along to use Dickey in a late-game situation.

"I salute him for going in there," Collins said. "It's certainly something he's not used to doing. But that's the kind of guy he is, 'If you need me, I'll be there for you.'"

Dickey has 98 career relief appearances to his name, mostly from his time in Texas, Seattle and Minnesota, where he bounced between the rotation and bullpen. But in three seasons since emerging as a reliable knuckleballer in New York's rotation, he has three appearances out of the bullpen. He previously threw two scoreless frames.