Dickey's run ends in Mets' 5-2 loss to Nationals

By Mike Fitzpatrick

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, July 24 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Michael Morse singled and LaRoche drove a low knuckler into the upper deck in right, snapping a 1-all tie with his 17th homer. Danny Espinosa singled, Roger Bernadina beat out a slow dribbler toward first and Jesus Flores hit an RBI single. Left fielder Jason Bay's wide throw to the plate got away for an error that allowed Bernadina to score, making it 5-1.

Espinosa's throwing error at shortstop led to an unearned run in the second. Ronny Cedeno hit an RBI single to right with two outs, giving New York its first lead in 42 innings since last Thursday, but was thrown out by Harper trying to stretch it into a double.

Gonzalez retired his next 11 batters and did not permit another hit until Ike Davis' two-out single in the seventh.

A switch-hitter, Espinosa batted right-handed against Dickey to get a better look at the knuckleball. The first time up, Espinosa struck out swinging. But in the fourth, his two-out double tied it 1-all after Zimmerman opened the inning with a bloop double.

NOTES: Harper is 0-for-10 against Dickey with six strikeouts. ... New York released RHP Miguel Batista, who was designated for assignment Sunday. ... Mets rookie OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis has a new-look haircut after his golden locks were trimmed. Asked if the change had more to do with the hot weather or his falling batting average, Nieuwenhuis said: "Both." ... Desperate for bullpen help, New York signed RHP Craig Hansen to a minor league contract that runs through next season. The 28-year-old righty, who went to nearby St. John's, was drafted 26th overall by Boston in 2005 but has not pitched professionally since 2010 in Pittsburgh's minor league system. He is 4-9 with a 6.34 ERA in 95 big league games, with his last appearance coming for the Pirates in 2009. He will report to the Mets' complex in Florida to begin a throwing program.

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