Early homers prove costly as Marlins blanked by Mets
MIAMI (AP) -- Bartolo Colon was in such control against the Marlins Marlins, he took a chance and made play for the highlights.
Colon pitched a nine-hitter and made a nifty behind-the-back toss on a grounder, and the New York Mets hit three homers in a 7-0 victory over the Marlins on Saturday night.
In the bottom of the sixth, Colon fielded Justin Bour's slow-rolling grounder near the first-base line and flipped the ball behind his back to first base as he crossed the line to end the inning.
"I thought about (the flip) before I got the ball," Colon said. "Because there were two outs and we were seven runs ahead, I did it."
Asked if he had ever done such a move before, Colon said: "No, but I practice it (with the other pitchers)."
New York manager Terry Collins was left amazed by the play.
"I've never seen anything like it. He better be No. 1 on SportsCenter tonight," Collins said with a smile.
Colon (13-11) struck out two and walked none while throwing 100 pitches and extending his scoreless innings streak to 25. The 42-year-old right-hander became the oldest Mets pitcher to throw a shutout. He topped Miguel Batista, who threw one at age 40 in 2011.
"I've been working hard in the bullpen with the pitching coach, mainly on my secondary pitches, and that's made by fast ball better," said Colon through a translator.
It was Colon's 36th career complete game and 13th career shutout. He last accomplished both feats during the 2013 season. It was also the 12th shutout for Mets pitchers this season.
"He's a very crafty and tough veteran," Miami manager Dan Jennings said. "He understands the art of pitching and that's why he's had the success he's had."
Travis d'Arnaud and Wilmer Flores hit back-to-back homers in a four-run first inning and Juan Lagares went deep in a three-run second to help the Mets win at Miami for the 10th time in the last 15 games.
"I think (d'Arnaud's home run) woke us up a little bit. The ball was absolutely crushed," Collins said of the shot to dead center field.
Brad Hand (4-5) gave up all seven runs and six hits in 1 2/3 innings to fall to 0-5 in his career against the Mets.
"I was leaving the ball up and everything was flat," Hand said. "They were sitting on the heater and they got to it."
Colon was never in serious trouble. Miami had runners on first and third with two outs in the fourth inning, but Colon got Ichiro Suzuki to ground out to third to end the threat.
J.T. Realmoto's double in the seventh inning was the Marlins' only extra-base hit as Colon improved to 7-3 against the Marlins as a Met.
The Mets got to Hand quickly. David Wright singled with one out in the first and Yoenis Cespedes walked. One out later, d'Arnaud hit a three-run homer to center that cleared the deepest part of Marlins Park. Flores followed with his 15th, a blast to left center.
Lagares' two-run homer in the second made it 6-0, and d'Arnaud's RBI single off reliever Andre Rienzo later in the inning capped the scoring.
Wright continues to have success at Marlins Park. His two singles in four at-bats improved his average to .331 in 31 career games in Miami.
Marlins: RHP Jarred Cosart (1-4, 5.36 ERA) makes his eighth start of the season, and first start since July 4. The 25-year-old had been on the disabled list with an inner ear disorder.
Mets: LHP Steven Matz (2-0, 1.32) is expected to make his first start since July 5 after spending time on the DL with a partial muscle tear on his left side.
Marlins: SS Adeiny Hechavarria was again out of the lineup while dealing with a tight left hamstring. Miguel Rojas got the start in his place.
Mets: 1B Lucas Duda, sidelined with a herniated disc since Aug. 22, was scheduled to play the first of two rehab games on Saturday with Double-A Binghamton. Duda will also suit up with the Eastern League team on Sunday. If all goes well, Duda could be back with the Mets at Washington on Tuesday.