Colon beats Baltimore once again, Mets snap shutout string
NEW YORK (AP) No matter which jersey he's wearing, no matter whether it's Cal Ripken or Manny Machado in the batter's box, Bartolo Colon keeps finding new ways to beat the Baltimore Orioles.
Colon became the first pitcher in at least 100 years to defeat the same opponent with seven different teams, leading the New York Mets past the Orioles 3-2 Tuesday night.
Three weeks shy of his 42nd birthday, Colon (5-1) took a shutout into the eighth inning before Machado hit a solo home run with one out.
Colon improved to 13-8 vs. the Orioles. He first beat them in 1999 with 100 mph heat when Ripken was their face of the franchise - Colon started off this game by striking out 22-year-old star Machado looking on three pitches, featuring fastballs that barely reach 90 mph.
''I was just a thrower back then. I threw gas,'' Colon said through a translator. ''Now I'm old, and I'm a better pitcher.''
Colon has defeated the O's while pitching for Cleveland, the White Sox, the Angels, Boston, the Yankees, Oakland and the Mets.
''Just what he's been doing forever,'' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
STATS said its research dating to 1914 shows no other pitcher who has topped the same opponent with seven different clubs. Dan Haren, David Wells and Hall of Fame spitballer Burleigh Grimes were among the seven to beat a team six ways.
The Mets won after getting blanked 1-0 in their previous two games. New York ended its scoreless streak at 21 innings when Daniel Murphy hit an RBI single in a three-run fourth, and won for just the second time in seven games.
Baltimore began its weeklong visit to Citi Field and Yankee Stadium with its second loss in seven games. The Orioles have lost seven in a row to the Mets in interleague play.
Colon, tied for the big league lead in wins, struck out nine, walked none and gave up six hits in 7 2-3 innings. He hasn't issued a walk in 34 1-3 innings.
''This guy believes in what he's got to do,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said. ''You've got to be brave.''
Jeurys Familia closed for his major league-leading 11th save in as many chances, giving up Chris Davis' sixth homer on his first pitch.
Against Colon, Davis struck out twice and singled.
''He's been doing it for so long. I feel like he has a scouting report on every hitter in the big leagues,'' Davis said.
Bud Norris (1-3) gave up all three runs in the fourth. Lucas Duda doubled and scored on a single by Murphy. Wilmer Flores doubled and rookie Kevin Plawecki hit a two-run double.
Both Gold Glove center fielders made stellar plays in the fifth.
Juan Lagares robbed Everth Cabrera with a tumbling, backhanded grab in the alley in the top half. Left fielder Michael Cuddyer barely avoided nicking him and marveled at what Lagares can catch, telling Collins: ''He calls me off balls hit right to me.''
Adam Jones raced into the left-center gap for Duda's drive in the bottom half.
The Mets wore NYPD hats and held a moment of silence before the game to honor a police officer who died this week after being shot while on duty. Officer Brian Moore's picture was shown on the scoreboard and flags flew at half-staff.
Moore liked the Orioles, and Showalter said the officer's favorite player was Davis. The slugger signed a ball, and Showalter said the team would autograph an Orioles home jersey for the family.
''I said a little prayer before the game after finding everything out. It's just kind of heavy on my heart. If I could do something to honor him, whether it was something to help us win or a bright spot, and God came through,'' Davis said.
Orioles: All-purpose player Steve Pearce was out of the lineup with a stomach bug.
Mets: 3B David Wright (hamstring) could play in a minor league game this weekend, Collins said. ... Former closer Bobby Parnell (Tommy John surgery) will throw at Citi Field this week so pitching coach Dan Warthen can check his mechanics.
Orioles: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (2-1, 1.59 ERA) hasn't permitted an earned run in three of his four starts this season.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (2-3, 3.34) has been hit hard his last two starts. Travis Snider is the only Baltimore player to have batted against him.
Colon has become a fan favorite at home with his hitting, along with his pitching. He retrieved his batting helmet after it flew off when he struck out swinging his first time up. Colon said he ''asked for one more at-bat'' later in the game, and got a big cheer after hitting a routine grounder.