Colon expected to start Sunday for Mets despite thumb injury

NEW YORK (AP) Thumbs up was the word on Bartolo Colon.

Mets manager Terry Collins said Wednesday he thought Colon would be able to make his next scheduled start, one day after the right-hander was hit on his pitching hand by a line drive.

The 43-year-old Colon threw four pitches Tuesday night against Kansas City before leaving the game with a bruised right thumb. He was struck by a sharp liner off the bat of Royals leadoff man Whit Merrifield.

X-rays were negative, and Collins said Colon was doing fine Wednesday with good flexibility, good strength and just a little swelling in his thumb. Colon is slated to start again Sunday in Atlanta.

Needing a fresh arm in their taxed bullpen, the Mets recalled right-hander Logan Verrett from Triple-A Las Vegas before Wednesday's game. To make roster room, they optioned infielder Ty Kelly to their top farm club.

Verrett was scratched from his scheduled Triple-A start Tuesday night when Colon got injured. Five relievers combined to soak up 8 2/3 innings for New York in a 2-1 victory.

In a curious move Tuesday, the Mets called up left-hander Sean Gilmartin from Las Vegas when they put right-handed reliever Jim Henderson on the 15-day disabled list with right biceps tendinitis.

Gilmartin was an effective long man for the NL champions last season, but he's been starting in the minors this year and was unavailable Tuesday after throwing 100 pitches over seven innings Sunday for Las Vegas.

That left New York scrambling when Colon was injured early. Two days after a 41-pitch outing, Hansel Robles wound up throwing 65 more in 3 2/3 effective innings. His previous career highs were 52 pitches and three innings, in separate games.

Verrett, who turned 26 on Sunday, began the season with the Mets and was 3-4 with a 4.02 ERA in 19 games (four starts). He had a 2.49 ERA in 15 relief appearances.

Verrett was demoted June 12 to Las Vegas, where he tossed six shutout innings of two-hit ball in his lone start last Thursday against Reno.

Kelly, a switch-hitter, was 4 for 27 (.148) with a home run and two RBIs for New York.

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