First in NL to 8 wins, Colon does it all vs. Marlins
NEW YORK -- Bartolo Colon's seven strong innings, second career extra-base hit and third RBI of the season on Sunday helped the Mets take the finale of their three-game series against the Marlins, 4-3, at Citi Field.
Mets third baseman Ruben Tejada hit a tiebreaking RBI double off Steve Cishek in the seventh inning, helping Colon become the National League's first eight-game winner. The 42-year-old starter also gave the Mets the second of their three leads earlier in the game, smacking a run-scoring double to the center-field wall in the second inning.
"Right now, I've got the opportunity to play," Tejada said. "I want to enjoy it and keep working hard."
Colon and Marlins starter David Phelps each contributed quality outings, allowing three runs apiece. Five innings after first baseman Justin Bour's fielding error gave the Mets an early lead in the first, Bour tied the game at 3 with a solo shot off Colon. But it wasn't enough for the Marlins, who watched Cishek take his fifth loss of the year. Three of New York's four runs came with two outs.
"This is going to turn in a positive way," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "But the two-out runs, it's a little demoralizing. We've got to capitalize on our opportunities when we have two outs and men in scoring position."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tejada comes through: With a man on second base and two outs in a tie game, Jennings opted to intentionally walk Curtis Granderson in the seventh. That brought up Tejada, who smacked a 1-0 Cishek slider into left for a go-ahead RBI double. Tejada has started often at third base as the Mets continue to search for a viable replacement for David Wright, and manager Terry Collins said he will continue to do so going forward.
"For three years, I just said, 'Go get it -- the job's yours,'" Collins said of Tejada's previous attempts to serve as New York's starting shortstop. "He just didn't rise to the occasion. I don't know now if he's frustrated, if he sees this opportunity, whatever it might be. But what we've seen in the last few days is the guy that's been in this uniform for four years. As I've said before, people thought he'd be a top-of-the-line everyday shortstop for us for a long time. He got beaten out, and now he decided he'll see if he can give something back."
Bour strikes yet again: Off on Saturday, Bour picked right up where he left off the previous two games. In the sixth inning, Bour blasted a home run off Colon, which pulled Miami even at 3. Bour has now gone deep in three straight games. His streak started Wednesday at Pittsburgh, and he belted a three-run homer on Friday off New York's Matt Harvey. The left-handed-hitting first baseman now has five homers.
Familia for five: Unwilling to take any chances with Giancarlo Stanton at the plate as the potential go-ahead run in the eighth inning, Collins turned to his closer for five outs. Jeurys Familia, who had not pitched since logging two full innings Tuesday, struck out Stanton en route to his 15th save in 16 chances. More >
Coasting into second: Colon highlighted the Mets' early offense with his third hit of the season and second career extra-base knock, an RBI double past Ichiro Suzuki in center field. Though the ball rolled all the way to the wall, Colon never appeared to have any intentions of legging out a triple. The Mets touched Phelps for three runs in six innings, the others coming on a Bour fielding error and a Wilmer Flores homer. More >
"There are a couple of pitches I would like to have back," Phelps said. "Obviously, that one, it was dumb on my part just thinking he was still bunting. He tried to bunt the pitch before that. I threw the same pitch. That's two RBIs [Colon] has gotten off me this year."
"There's a reason why this guy's pitched for 19 years. And if you can do nothing else except learn how he goes about things mentally -- now you don't have to copy him, don't copy him physically -- but just how he gets ready to pitch every night, I think it's going to help your career."
-- Collins, on Colon
"It's frustrating -- the last couple of times out, I've put us in a hole early. It's really frustrating going out there giving up a run in the first, a run in the second, a run in the third. I've got to do a better job out of the gate, and giving us a chance to get a lead."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Ichiro's single to open the second inning off Colon was career hit No. 2,877 for the Miami outfielder. Ichiro is now tied with Omar Vizquel for 36th on the MLB all-time hits list, dating back to 1900, recognized as the start of MLB's modern era.
Colon thought he caught Dee Gordon straying too far off first base in the first inning and the Mets did, too, going as far as to challenge umpire Tripp Gibson's safe call. But a video review did not convince umpires enough to overturn the ruling, dropping the Mets to 10-5 in challenges this season.
Marlins: The Marlins open a short three-game homestand on Monday against the Cubs at 7:10 p.m. ET at Marlins Park. Jose Urena (0-1, 9.39 ERA) will make his second big league start, and first at home. Jason Hammel (3-2, 2.98 ERA) is slated to pitch for Chicago.
Mets: Jacob deGrom opens up the Mets' first West Coast trip of the season when he starts a 10:10 p.m. ET game Monday at Petco Park in San Diego. deGrom, who owns a 1.27 ERA over his last three outings, will oppose Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner.
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