NEW YORK — R.A. Dickey became the first knuckleballer to win 20 games in more than three decades, matching his career high with 13 strikeouts and leading the New York Mets over the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 Thursday behind David Wright's tiebreaking, three-run homer.
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 tying home run in the second inning.
Dickey allowed three runs and eight hits in 72/3 innings, walking two and reaching double digits in strikeouts for the seventh time this season. He leads the NL with 222 Ks.
Kevin Correia (11-11) gave up six runs and seven hits.
Giants 7, Diamondbacks 3
At San Francisco, midseason acquisitions Hunter Pence and Marco Scutaro each hit a two-run homer in the second inning to back Barry Zito, and the NL West champion San Francisco Giants beat Arizona in their regular-season home finale.
Zito (14-8) allowed three runs in six innings to win his fourth straight start and sixth consecutive decision. The 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner with Oakland has his most wins since joining the Giants on a $126 million, seven-year contract before the 2007 season.
The Giants won their 10th straight game started by Zito. They have won eight of 10 overall.
Buster Posey had two singles and took over the lead in the race for the NL batting title at .333. Pittsburgh star Andrew McCutchen, who was injured and left a game against the Mets, is at .332.
Reds 2, Brewers 1
At Cincinnati, slumping rookie Todd Frazier tied the game with a two-out homer in the ninth inning, Dioner Navarro hit an RBI triple moments later and Cincinnati dealt a major setback to Milwaukee's playoff chances.
The Brewers slipped four games behind idle St. Louis with six games left in the race for the final NL wild card.
Nationals 7, Phillies 3
At Philadelphia, Gio Gonzalez became the first 21-game winner in the majors, Michael Morse hit two homers and Washington beat Philadelphia to move closer to an NL East title.
Bryce Harper also connected for the Nationals, who reduced their magic number to three. They have a four-game lead over Atlanta with six to play.
Braves 6, Marlins 2
At Atlanta, David Ross and Andrelton Simmons raced home on left fielder Bryan Petersen's costly error, sending Tommy Hanson and Atlanta to a victory over Miami.
Hanson (13-9) allowed two runs, one earned, and six hits in 51/3 innings for his first win since July 30, also against Miami. The right-hander was 0-4 with a 5.06 ERA in his previous seven starts.
Dodgers 8, Padres 4
At San Diego, Chris Capuano won for the first time in eight starts and Los Angeles inched closer in the wild-card race.
Luis Cruz hit a two-run single to help the Dodgers pull within three games of idle St. Louis for the second NL wild card. Both teams have six games remaining.
Rockies 7, Cubs 5
At Denver, Jordan Pacheco and DJ LeMahieu homered, leading Colorado over Chicago for a three-game sweep.
Pacheco, Wilin Rosario and Chris Nelson had two hits apiece for the Rockies, who had 12 hits in their final home game of 2012.
Rangers 9, Athletics 7
At Arlington, Texas, Ian Kinsler got Texas started with a leadoff homer, Matt Harrison earned his 18th victory and the AL West-leading Rangers held on to win for a four-game split with the chasing Oakland Athletics.
The two-time defending American League champion Rangers (92-64) have a four-game division lead over the A's with six to play, including three games in Oakland next week. The Athletics own a two-game edge in the race for the second wild card.
Harrison (18-10) went six innings, allowing four runs, to become the Rangers' first 18-game winner since Kenny Rogers in 2004.
Josh Reddick went deep twice, including one of Oakland's three solo homers in the eighth off reliever Mike Adams. Joe Nathan worked a perfect ninth with two strikeouts for his 36th save in 38 chances.
Mariners 9, Angels 4
At Anaheim, Calif., John Jaso hit a two-run homer and an RBI double for Seattle, and the Los Angeles Angels wasted a chance to get within one game of an AL wild-card spot.
Vernon Wells and Alberto Callaspo drove in early runs for the Angels (86-70), who had won five straight and an AL-best 16 of 23 in September before stumbling in their regular-season home finale.
Los Angeles remained two games behind Oakland with six to play. The Angels also fell three games back of idle Baltimore, the wild-card leader.
Hisashi Iwakuma (8-5) pitched six innings of seven-hit ball, and the Mariners avoided a series sweep by scoring six runs against the Los Angeles bullpen, which held them hitless Tuesday.
Tigers 5, Royals 4
At Detroit, Doug Fister set an AL record by striking out nine straight batters and Detroit increased its lead in the Central, beating Kansas City on Alex Avila's grounder in the ninth inning.
Fister came within one strikeout of matching Tom Seaver's major league record of 10 in a row. But the Tigers blew a 4-0 lead after seven innings, and Joaquin Benoit (5-3) allowed a solo homer by Billy Butler to tie it in the ninth.
Rays 3, White Sox 2
At Chicago, Evan Longoria hit a tiebreaking homer in the ninth inning and the surging Tampa Bay Rays won their eighth straight game, handing the White Sox a loss that hurts Chicago's playoff chances.
Longoria's 14th homer came off Brett Myers (3-4) on the eve of the anniversary of his dramatic shot that beat the Yankees on the final day last season and gave the Rays the AL wild card.
Blue Jays 6, Yankees 0
At Toronto, Brandon Morrow and two relievers combined on a five-hitter, pitching Toronto to a victory that trimmed New York's tight lead in the AL East.
Edwin Encarnacion had three hits and three RBIs. Brett Lawrie hit a two-run homer and J.P. Arencibia added a solo shot as the Blue Jays handed an assist to idle Baltimore, shaving New York's division lead over the Orioles to one game.