Bartolo Colon first to six wins, helps Mets take down Phillies
PHILADELPHIA — Bartolo Colon is getting better with age.
Colon became the first pitcher in the majors with six wins, and Curtis Granderson hit a two-run homer to lead the New York Mets over the Philadelphia Phillies 7-4 on Sunday.
Colon (6-1) wasn't quite as good as he's been much of the season, but he was good enough to win again despite giving up a homer to opposing pitcher Chad Billingsley. The right-hander, who turns 42 this month, allowed four runs and eight hits with six strikeouts and no walks in six-plus innings.
"You can't say enough about him," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "At his age, it's all about location. He works both sides of the plate, never gives a clean look. And he doesn't walk anybody."
Colon extended his streak without a walk to 40 1-3 innings, pulling closer to the franchise record of 47 set by Bret Saberhagen in 1994. The 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner has 40 strikeouts and one walk this season, the best ratio in the big leagues.
"I'm throwing a lot of strikes and attacking the zone," Colon said through a translator. "(When I was younger) I was overthrowing, trying to throw 100 mph. I'm more of a complete pitcher now."
Daniel Murphy had three of New York's season-high 14 hits. Pinch-hitter Johnny Monell delivered a two-run double for the Mets, who took two of three in Philadelphia and have won nine of 10 series against the Phillies since 2012.
Jeurys Familia pitched a scoreless ninth for his NL-leading 13th save in as many opportunities.
The final two outs were stellar defensive plays, first by Ruben Tejada at second base when he flipped the ball to first with his glove. Left fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis then made a sliding catch against the wall in foul territory to end the game.
"Not many guys would've made that catch," Collins said.
Billingsley (0-2), making his second start after missing two years due to a pair of right elbow operations, gave up five runs and eight hits in five-plus innings, raising his ERA to 9.00.
The right-hander isn't happy with the results, but is pleased with the progress he's making in his comeback.
"I had a little better control of my fastball," he said. "I was more confident with my pitches, being able to locate. I felt good. Obviously, the results aren't there. Go back to work and keep improving."
Billingsley launched Colon's 0-2 pitch with one out in the third into the netting attached to the foul pole in left. It was the third career homer for Billingsley.
New York tied it in the fourth on Wilmer Flores' run-scoring single. After the Phillies took a 2-1 lead in the bottom half on Grady Sizemore's RBI single, the Mets went in front for good in the fifth.
Granderson drove a two-run homer into the seats in right, giving New York a 3-2 advantage. Flores and Nieuwenhuis both doubled and scored in the sixth to make it a three-run lead.
The Phillies got a pair of runs back in the seventh on pinch-hit RBIs by Cesar Hernandez and Jeff Francoeur and had a chance to take the lead. But Ryan Howard grounded out with the bases loaded against reliever Alex Torres for the final out of the inning.
The Mets went up 7-4 in the eighth on Monell's double to right-center.
Pirates slip past Cardinals: Jung Ho Kang went 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3.
The Cardinals dropped two of three in Pittsburgh, their first series loss of the season.
With the game tied 3-3, Kang hit a go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning.
Kang hit his second home run of the season in the first inning, a shot to left field off a 0-2 fastball left over the middle of the plate from St. Louis left-hander Tyler Lyons. Kang's home run gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.
The Pirates added a run in the fourth when Starling Marte reached on an infield single and advanced to third when Lyons' throw went wide of first base. Jordy Mercer hit a line drive that Matt Reynolds couldn't handle at third, allowing Marte to score for a 2-0 Pirates lead.
Locke left after 6 2-3 innings and gave up three runs and five hits. He walked two and struck out one.
Harper helps Washington get past Atlanta: Streaking slugger Bryce Harper doubled, singled and drove in another run — but didn't homer — as the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 5-4 for a sweep of the three-game series.
Harper had hit six home runs in his previous three games. He doubled home a run, giving him 13 RBIs in four games, and also scored once.
Wilson Ramos hit a tiebreaking double to cap a two-run rally in the eighth inning, sending the Nationals to their 10th win in 12 games. Ramos and Ryan Zimmerman each had a double, single and two RBIs.
Sammy Solis (1-0) pitched one inning for his first major league win and Drew Storen closed for his ninth save.
Ian Desmond singled to open the eighth off Cody Martin (1-2) and Jayson Werth walked. After Harper popped out, Zimmerman hit a tying single, but Werth was tagged out after rounding second and falling. Ramos then doubled to the deep right.
Freddie Freeman had two hits and scored twice for Atlanta, and pitcher Alex Wood had three hits and an RBI.
Napoli, Sandoval homer, lead Buchholz, Bosox over Blue Jays: Mike Napoli hit a three-run homer, Pablo Sandoval added a two-run shot and the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 to avoid a three-game sweep.
Clay Buchholz (2-4) allowed three runs in 6 1-3 innings for his first victory in six starts. The last-place Red Sox won for just the second time in nine games.
Junichi Tazawa pitched 1 2-3 innings and Koji Uehara finished for his sixth save.
Carl Willis joined the Red Sox for his first game as their new pitching coach. He replaced Juan Nieves, who was fired Thursday.
R.A. Dickey (1-4) lost for the third time in four starts, allowing six runs in six innings.
Hamilton starts rehab in Triple-A after 'long, ugly process': Josh Hamilton is starting over, calling his return to baseball a "small miracle."
The former American League MVP spoke Sunday before starting his rehab stint with the Round Rock Express against the Nashville Sounds. He's recovering from shoulder surgery Feb. 4 and had been working in the Texas Rangers' extended spring program in Arizona since April 28.
"It's really a small miracle that I got back here because it was a whole, big, long, ugly process," Hamilton said. "I feel like the Lord had his hand on it to get me back here. I feel like I'm in the place I'm supposed to be in now."
He played in three extended spring training games last week before the Rangers stepped up his rehabilitation by sending him to the Express.
Hamilton said he's trying to be open and honest and hopes people understand he doesn't want to hide behind his mistakes.