Colon, Flores leads Mets to 5-3 win over Braves
NEW YORK (AP) — Bartolo Colon was not at his best as he labored through the middle innings. No surprise to anyone, the burly, 42-year-old right-hander still managed to make big pitches when he needed them.
Colon moved into a tie for the major league lead with his ninth win, Wilmer Flores and John Mayberry Jr. homered, and the New York Mets held on to beat the Atlanta Braves 5-3 on Friday night.
“He didn’t have his good stuff,” manager Terry Collins said, “but he battles so well you kind of liked where you were sitting, even in the sixth inning. Today he really had to work for it and he kept us in it.”
Colon (9-4) gave up two runs and six hits in six innings as he matched Seattle’s Felix Hernandez, who was roughed up at Houston, and Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole for the most victories in baseball.
Jeurys Familia, whose availability for the game was uncertain because he was awaiting the birth of his child, loaded the bases with one out in the ninth before getting Nick Markakis to ground into a double play for his 18th save.
Markakis also grounded into a double play against Alex Torres in the seventh with the bases loaded and no outs, pulling Atlanta to 4-3, and he bounced out to Colon with three aboard in the fifth and two outs.
“Just some bad at-bats by me today,” Markakis said. “I think I was thinking up there too much and you get yourself into trouble when you start doing that.”
Michael Cuddyer followed up his game-winning hit Thursday against San Francisco with an RBI double in the seventh as New York beat Atlanta for a fifth straight time after losing the first two games between the teams this year.
The NL East-leading Mets improved to 22-11 in the weak division.
Alex Wood (4-4) entered his 12th start of the season having allowed only two home runs — one was to Cuddyer on April 12 — but he was tagged twice early by the Mets.
Flores connected leading off the second, in his first career at-bat in the No. 4 hole.
With slumping left-handed Lucas Duda out of the lineup against a lefty, Collins elevated the rookie shortstop into the cleanup spot but was quick to say that this move was just a one-day necessity.
Mayberry hit a two-run shot in the fourth after Flores was intentionally walked with one out to give New York a 3-0 lead.
But the Braves loaded the bases with three straight singles to open the fifth. Wood then hit a grounder to short for a potential double play and Flores bobbled the ball before flipping to second for the force. A.J. Pierzynski scored and Wood had an RBI.
Jace Peterson doubled in a run to make it 3-2.
The Braves had two runners on in the sixth but, for the second straight inning, Colon got the final out on a comebacker.
“I felt a little tired to be honest with you in the fifth inning,” Colon said. “It was humid, it was hot, was just tired of the weather.”
Colon matched Dwight Gooden’s franchise record established in 1993-94 with a decision in 25 straight starts, a streak that started July 23, 2014. Colon is 16-9 over that span.
Eric Campbell had an RBI groundout in the bottom of the sixth. Mayberry, who singled for his second hit and advanced when Dilson Herrera walked, was on third because Wood threw a pickoff attempt at second base into center field.
Wood allowed five runs — four earned — and six hits in 6 1-3 innings
Mets: The Mets placed reliever Erik Goeddel on the 15-day DL because of a strained right elbow. Goeddel had not allowed a run since May 27, 5 2-3 scoreless innings.
Braves: RHP Shelby Miller lowered his ERA to 1.84 when he allowed just one run in seven innings against San Diego in his last start.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom was named co-NL player of the week with Clayton Kershaw after going 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA. DeGrom is 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in three starts vs. the Braves.
CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT
Dillon Gee will make a spot start for New York on Sunday, pushing Noah Syndergaard and the rest of the starters back a day in an attempt to help manage innings of the team’s young star pitchers. The Mets recently backtracked on a plan to use a six-man rotation. “It’s not a six-man rotation, it’s a five-man rotation, but we’re going to slip somebody in because we think maybe a day here is an extra day that will help out,” Collins said.