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Dickey retires 27 straight for Bisons

Knuckleballer faces just one over the minimum in one-hitter
April 29, 2010
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey's one bad pitch cost him a chance at history for the Bisons.

Dickey allowed a leadoff single before setting down the next 27 batters -- a modern-day team record -- as Triple-A Buffalo defeated Durham, 4-0, on Thursday.

Dickey (3-1), who was originally a first-round pick by Texas in 1996, struck out six. Bulls leadoff hitter Fernando Perez hit Dickey's third pitch of the game into right field for a single.

"The worst knuckleball I threw was probably to him (Perez)," said Dickey, who leads the International League in complete games with two. "He did what he probably should have done. It was an 0-2 count and it just hung up there.

"I had a good knuckleball tonight and I think what makes it good is the late movement in the strike zone. Probably 75-80 of my pitches were knuckleballs, and if that's the ratio, you probably have a good one that night."

He threw 90 pitches, 68 for strikes.

Dickey, a veteran of 144 Major League games, was signed by the Mets to a Minor League deal in the offseason. The 35-year-old right-hander is 3-1 for Buffalo.

"I want to do a good job of living in the moment of what I have," Dickey said. "We have a lot of great guys and I enjoy being here, but I would be lying if I [said] this is where I want to be."

The Bisons (12-9) gave Dickey the only run he needed in the fourth inning, when Mike Hessman hit an RBI groundout. Hessman later doubled and scored, while Ruben Tejada -- who spent a week in the Majors earlier this season -- hit a solo homer in the eighth.

Dickey praised the efforts of his young catcher. Josh Thole, who was drafted in the 13th round in 2005, is making his Triple-A debut this season.

"He has been out of sight," Dickey said. "He may be a young guy in years, but he takes what does behind the plate seriously. He's got a great feel for the game. That's what you want behind the plate."

Heath Phillips (1-2) took the loss for the first-place Bulls(15-7). The lefty allowed four runs on eight hits and struck out three in eight innings.

To Dickey though, it didn't matter what the opposing pitcher did, as it wouldn't change his approach.

"As far as I was concerned we were going to be 0-0 in the ninth and I had to hold them," he said. "And that's what I want to do, finish every game."

Robert Emrich is a contributor to