R.A. Dickey (3-0) won his third straight start and the New York Mets improved their impressive record at Citi Field, beating the Florida Marlins, 4-3, last night.

After the Mets fought back from a three-run deficit, Francisco Rodriguez retired slugger Hanley Ramirez with runners at second and third for his 11th save in 14 chances. Ramirez hit a chopper up the third-base line and David Wright bounced an off-balance throw to first that easily beat Ramirez for the final out.

Mets reliever Elmer Dessens retired Ramirez on a foul to end the seventh with runners at the corners.

Ruben Tejada provided an immediate offensive spark after coming up from the minors and Dickey delivered two hits and an RBI, pushing the Mets to 20-9 at home with their sixth consecutive victory there.

In other games:

* At Houston, Felipe Paulino (1-7) struck out seven in eight effective innings, outpitching Carlos Zambrano (1-4) and helping the Astros beat the Chicago Cubs, 3-1, for their fourth straight win.

Houston was averaging 1.97 runs in games started by Paulino (1-7) this season, the lowest support in the majors for any regular starter.

* At Washington, Ian Desmond hit a RBI single to break a seventh-inning tie, and was then at the center of a wild sacrifice-fly double-play two plays later as the Nationals beat the Cincinnati Reds , 4-2.

In the seventh, Willie Harris lifted a short fly ball to centerfield. Centerfielder Drew Stubb's throw home bounced off the mound and high in the air, allowing Bernadina to score. Desmond took off for third and beat the throw but his foot appeared to come off the bag. Dusty Baker argued the call and crew chief Joe West overturned the call. As the Nationals argued, West threw Desmond out of the game.

_ At St. Louis, Adam Wainwright threw a complete game and Colby Rasmus drilled a two-run homer to lead the Cardinals to an 8-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers .

* At Pittsburgh, Juan Uribe and Aubrey Huff each hit a two-run homer in a comeback sixth inning and the San Francisco Giants erased a four-run deficit to beat the Pirates, 6-4, in a game that started nearly three hours because of rain.

Noteworthy

* Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Mat Gamel has been activated from the 60-day disabled list and sent to the minors.

The team also released righthander Claudio Vargas. Righthander Marco Estrada, who was already in the minors, was put on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 1 with shoulder fatigue.

* Second baseman Luis Castillo has been placed on the disabled list by the New York Mets, who also cut slumping backup outfielder Gary Matthews Jr.

The Mets recalled 20-year-old Ruben Tejada from Triple A Buffalo to fill Castillo's starting spot. Omir Santos was called up from Double A Binghamton, giving the club three catchers on the big-league roster.

* The Atlanta Braves have placed reliever Takashi Saito on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring and recalled reliever Craig Kimbrel from Triple A Gwinnett.