ST. LOUIS — Lance Lynn figured the numbers did not lie and Bartolo Colon would be an automatic out. The rest of the St. Louis Cardinals, too.
Lynn was philosophical about the 41-year-old Colon’s first extra-base hit of his career and first hit — period — in nine years that keyed the rally that helped the New York Mets win 3-2 Wednesday.
Lynn joked that Colon was probably due.
"I thought there was no way he was swinging, and he swung," Lynn said. "In all honesty, that at-bat right there cost us the game.
"You don’t expect him to be the one that starts something like that, and he did."
Colon said through an translator he got what he wished for — a fastball — and would have whiffed on a breaking pitch. Twice, he loosened up the dugout running the bases.
"It made everybody laugh," leadoff man Eric Young Jr. "Sometimes laughter gets everything going and you can start having fun playing baseball."
In addition to his keepsake double, Colon worked eight dominant innings in 91-degree heat against a lineup that totaled 11 runs the first two games.
"He got a lot of weak contact," catcher Taylor Teagarden said. "That’s exactly what you want from your starter on a tough day game, a get-away game after already being down 0-2 in the series."
Eric Young and David Wright had an RBI apiece in a two-run sixth that put the Mets up by a run, and Young added an RBI double off Seth Maness in the seventh — a run aided by Colon’s second sacrifice of the game. A day after dropping their sixth straight series in St. Louis, the Mets ended an eight-game road losing streak dating to June 3.
Matt Carpenter hit his third career leadoff homer for the Cardinals, who lost for the second time in nine games. They had just one runner in scoring position against Colon (7-5), who retired 13 in a row before Daniel Descalso singled with two outs in the eighth.
"He left one out over the plate and I was able to put a good swing on it," Carpenter said. "But he didn’t make any mistakes after that one."
Colon was 0 for 43 at the plate since June 10, 2005, when he was with the Angels and singled off the Mets’ Mike DeJean. He had taken only 17 at-bats while in the American League from 2006-13.
Colon surprised Lance Lynn (7-5) with a double just inside the third-base line to open the sixth. He scored his second career run, and first since 2002 with the Expos at Milwaukee, when Young followed with a double.
Colon won his fifth straight decision and matched his season best for innings, needing just 86 pitches. He allowed four hits, had a season-low one strikeout and walked none, substituting deception for velocity.
The Mets batted the pitcher eighth the first two games of the series but returned to a traditional look for the finale with Colon taking a turn.
Left-hander Dana Eveland retired lefty swinging Matt Adams for the final out and his second career save, and first since 2005, after Allen Craig’s infield RBI single off Jenrry Mejia. The Mets won for just the fourth time in 15 games.
Collins said he took out Mejia because Adams has been so dangerous.
"You keep reading every day in the notes that he’s won game after game with a home run or a hit off right-handed pitching," Collins said. "So he was going to have to get a hit off a lefty."
Wright just missed giving the Mets three doubles in four at-bats, settling for the go-ahead RBI single. Wright beat the relay to second on an opposite-field flare down the right field line but was tagged out by Descalso when he tried to switch feet.
Lynn worked six innings and allowed five hits and two runs.
NOTES: Colon is 5-0 with a 1.66 ERA his last six starts. … The Cardinals begin a four-game series against the Phillies Thursday with Shelby Miller (7-5, 3.42) opposing David Buchanan (2-3, 3.97). The Mets begin a four-game set at Miami with Zack Wheeler (2-7, 4.38) facing Andrew Heaney, making his major league debut. … Carpenter had two hits after getting a day off. … The Mets optioned OF Matt den Dekker to Triple-A Las Vegas and recalled OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis. … The Cardinals had three outfield assists the first 71 games, and two Wednesday.