NEW YORK (AP) - R.A. Dickey became the first knuckleballer to win 20 games in more than three decades, tying his career-high with 13 strikeouts and leading the New York Mets over Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 Thursday behind David Wright's tiebreaking, three-run homer in the fifth inning.
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 home run.
Dickey allowed three runs in 7 2-3 innings. He leads the NL with 222 strikeouts.
He is the first 20-game winner for the Mets since Frank Viola in 1990 and the first knuckleballer to accomplish the feat since Houston's Joe Niekro in 1980, according to STATS LLC.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.