MILWAUKEE (AP) New York Mets veteran Bartolo Colon knows well the highs and lows that come with being a starting pitcher.
''I've been doing the same stuff since the season began,'' the 43-year-old said after he stymied the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night. ''You have bad periods and good periods and right now I'm going through a good one.''
Colon scattered eight hits over seven innings and limited the Brewers to one run in sparking the Mets to a 5-2 victory.
Manager Terry Collins said Colon's veteran leadership is essential to the team's group of young starters.
''He's irreplaceable, to be honest. Nothing shakes him up,'' Collins said. ''This guy is a pro so to have him in that rotation really settles things down.''
Colon (5-3) held the Brewers scoreless until the seventh when a two-out, one-hop smash off the bat of Hernan Perez ricocheted off the chest of New York second baseman Neil Walker, allowing a run to score.
Collins was immediately concerned about Walker's health.
''I thought he might have broken a rib,'' Collins said. ''He said it hit him right in the heart and that he couldn't catch his breath. When he came in between innings, he said he didn't feel very good so we got him out of there.''
Walker said he felt light-headed after the play.
''When you get a ball kind of close to your heart and kind of close to your rib cage there you just want to make sure,'' Walker said.
At the plate, Curtis Granderson set the tone for the Mets with a leadoff home run off Milwaukee's Jimmy Nelson (5-5).
Granderson doubled leading off the third and scored on a single by Yoenis Cespedes.
Kevin Plawecki drove in two runs with a single in the eighth to give the Mets a 4-1 lead.
Scooter Gennett, who had a career-high four hits, drove in a run with a double in the eighth to bring the Brewers within two.
New York added a run in the ninth on Matt Reynolds' pinch-hit single.
Jeurys Familia recorded his 20th save in 20 opportunities.
Granderson hit his fifth leadoff home run of the season and 40th of his career. He has 16 leadoff home runs as a Met, tying him with Jose Reyes for most in franchise history. ''He can put a run on the board in a hurry,'' Collins said
The Mets selected RHP Justin Dunn from Boston College with 19th pick in the first round. The Mets had a second first-round pick, at the 31st overall selection, as compensation for Daniel Murphy, who signed with Washington in the offseason. LHP Anthony Kay from the University of Connecticut, was selected with the pick. The Mets took 1B Pete Alonso from the University of Florida in the second round.
Milwaukee's top pick in the draft, University of Louisville OF Corey Ray, said his friendship with Granderson, which developed after they met while working out in Chicago, helped ease the commotion surrounding the draft. ''He has definitely helped me from a mental standpoint and how to deal with all the noise that the draft brings. Baseball is tough and with him in my corner and giving me tips and advice it definitely made things a little easier,'' he said.
Granderson was hit on the side of his right knee by a pitch from Nelson in the fourth inning. He limped as he walked to first base but stayed in the game. ... OF Juan Lagares, who missed four straight games with a partially torn left thumb ligament, entered the game in the eighth as a defensive replacement. He doubled leading off the ninth. ... C Travis d'Arnaud, on a rehab assignment while recovering from a strained right rotator cuff, went 2 for 4, drove in a run, scored twice and walked three times for Class-A St. Lucie in an 11-inning win over Dunedin on Thursday night. He served as the DH.
Brewers: OF Domingo Santana missed his second consecutive game with elbow soreness.
Mets: Matt Harvey (4-8, 4.95 ERA) will face the Brewers for the first time in his career. Harvey is 2-5 with a 5.18 ERA in seven road starts this season.
Brewers: Junior Guerra (3-1, 3.61) will be making his first start against the Mets. Milwaukee is 6-1 in games started by Guerra this season.