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Colon earns 200th win as Mets defeat Phillies

BaseballMajor League BaseballBartolo ColonPhiladelphia PhilliesNew York MetsJenrry MejiaA.J. Burnett

The Sports Xchange

By Gordie Jones, The Sports Xchange

Colon earns 200th win as Mets defeat Phillies

PHILADELPHIA -- New York Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon earned his 200th career victory on Friday night, though the milestone was not without its anxious moments.

Closer Jenrry Mejia struck out pinch hitter Reid Brignac looking with the tying run at third to end the game, as the Mets hung on for a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

The 41-year-old Colon departed after eight innings with a 5-1 lead, and watched on a clubhouse television as the bullpen surrendered three runs.

Afterward the native of the Dominican Republic said through an interpreter that he was "really happy" to join Juan Marichal (243) and Pedro Martinez (219) as the only Dominican-born pitchers to win 200, and that he "thanks the team and thanks Mejia, who was able to close that game."

"It's certainly well-deserved," manager Terry Collins said of Colon's achievement. "To reinvent yourself after being what he was years ago (i.e., a power pitcher) and still being able to perform at the level he's performed and win 200 games -- you just think about that. That's a lot of wins."

Colon allowed six hits and one run, on a solo homer by right fielder Marlon Byrd in the seventh, to improve to 11-9 this season and 200-137 for his 17-year career, during which he has pitched for eight teams. He is third among active pitchers in victories, trailing only San Francisco's Tim Hudson (213) and the New York Yankees' CC Sabathia (208).

Colon, who struck out six without walking a batter Friday, also became just the fourth pitcher in the last 90 years to win his 200th game at age 41 or older, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The others were Tim Wakefield (age 45 in 2011), Charlie Hough (age 44 in 1992) and Jamie Moyer (age 42 in 2005).

"He threw great today," said Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud, who hit a solo homer. "I was honored to be a part of it. ... He was hitting his spots today. Balls were getting hit, but they were hitting them off the end of the bat or getting jammed."

Besides Byrd's homer, the Phillies did not get a runner to second base against Colon, who retired eight straight hitters in one stretch.

"He's got movement with his fastball both ways," Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He throws a lot of fastballs but he changes speeds with them, making it difficult to gauge the velocity."

Dana Eveland replaced Colon to start the ninth, but allowed a double to second baseman Chase Utley and a walk to Ryan Howard. Mejia replaced Eveland and yielded a single to Byrd and a two-run double to left fielder Grady Sizemore, making it 5-3.

Right fielder Curtis Granderson made a sliding catch of a sinking liner by catcher Carlos Ruiz, and Philadelphia third baseman Cody Asche drove in the run that made it 5-4 with an infield bouncer.

Mejia, who earned his 17th save, then caught Brignac looking at a 1-2 fastball to end it.

Phillies starter A.J. Burnett (6-12) allowed five runs and 11 hits over six innings to lose his third straight decision. Burnett, who struck out eight and walked two, is 0-2 in three starts against the Mets this season, and has allowed 17 runs and 24 hits in 18 innings.

The Mets scored four times against Burnett in the fourth as center fielder Juan Lagares drove in a run with a double and shortstop Wilmer Flores, Granderson and second baseman Daniel Murphy added RBI singles.

D'Arnaud hit a solo homer in the fifth inning. It was his eighth home run of the season.

NOTES: After the game, the Mets designated OF Chris Young for assignment and recalled OF Matt Den Dekker from Triple-A Las Vegas. ... Retired Phillies RHP Roy Halladay threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... The Chicago Tribune reported that the Phillies pulled LHP Cole Hamels back from revocable waivers. The Cubs had put in a claim on Hamels, but the two teams could not agree on a deal. ... According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the go-ahead grand slam by Phillies 1B Ryan Howard in the eighth inning of Thursday's 6-5 victory over Houston was his first go-ahead slam in the eighth inning or later since 2005. It was also his first slam since September 2012 and the 13th of his career.

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