NEW YORK (AP) — Bartolo Colon pitched six shutout innings in his return from the disabled list and Eduardo Nunez had another big game at the plate, leading the New York Yankees past the Mets 5-2 on Saturday for their season-best seventh consecutive victory.
Jose Reyes left after two innings with tightness in his left hamstring, taking the starch out of the suddenly slumping Mets. After setting a club record by scoring 52 runs in a four-game stretch, they have managed only five while losing their past three.
Held scoreless for the first five innings, the Yankees touched up rookie Dillon Gee (8-2) with four straight sharp hits in a four-run sixth before a Citi Field-record crowd of 42,042.
Curtis Granderson lifted a 1-2 pitch to right for his 22nd home run before Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez singled. Robinson Cano ripped a two-run triple into the right-field corner, cracking a wide smile as he stood on third, and Nick Swisher followed with a sacrifice fly.
Nunez added a solo homer off Tim Byrdak in the ninth to make it 5-0. Filling in for injured Derek Jeter at shortstop, Nunez also had a pair of doubles after going 4 for 4 with an RBI in Friday night’s 5-1 victory.
The only time the Mets retired him it took a spectacular, diving catch by second baseman Justin Turner.
The sixth-inning outburst provided more than enough support for the 38-year-old Colon (6-3), who picked up right where he left off in his first start since June 11. The husky right-hander strained his left hamstring in a 4-0 victory over Cleveland while covering first base on a groundout.
Colon was on his game from the outset in this one, setting down 13 in a row after Reyes reached on an infield single to start the first. Throwing 95 mph fastballs with his revitalized arm, the 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner struck out six and walked none. He gave up five hits, four singles, and clapped his pitching hand into his glove after escaping a bases-loaded jam in the fifth when Gee bounced into a double play.
Cory Wade tossed two scoreless innings and Sergio Mitre gave up RBI groundouts to Jason Bay and Lucas Duda in the ninth.
The Mets said Reyes felt tightness in his hamstring while beating out his infield single in the first and was removed as a precaution in the top of the third. Ruben Tejada replaced him at shortstop.
Reyes has been one of baseball’s best players this season. He began the day leading the majors with a .352 batting average, 123 hits and 15 triples. He also led the NL with 65 runs scored. The speedy switch-hitter can become a free agent after the World Series.
Reyes has a history of leg injuries that limited the leadoff man to 53 games in 2004 and 36 games in 2009.
The Yankees improved to 13-4 in interleague play, the best mark in the majors. Their entire seven-game winning streak has come against NL teams, and they have won seven series in a row since getting swept at home by Boston from June 7-9.
Freddy Garcia pitches Sunday as the Yankees go for a Subway Series sweep. R.A. Dickey is on the mound for the Mets, who fell to 1-4 against their crosstown rivals this season.
NOTES: Jeter, on the disabled list with a strained right calf, was set to begin his rehab assignment with Double-A Trenton on Saturday night. He is expected to rejoin the Yankees on Monday in Cleveland. The team is 14-3 since he went on the DL. … To make room on the roster for Colon, the Yankees optioned RHP Brian Gordon to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. … Yankees RHP Mark Prior, on the DL at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre because of a strained groin, threw 27 pitches in batting practice at team’s minor league complex in Tampa, Fla. It was the first time the converted reliever has faced hitters since getting hurt in a game on April 18. … Mets reliever Manny Acosta worked a hitless seventh, his first appearance since hyperextending his right wrist while tumbling to the turf after making an outstanding play on a bunt Thursday in Detroit. Before the game, manager Terry Collins said Acosta is fine. … Mets CF Angel Pagan turned 30. … The Mets signed 16-year-old Jose Garcia, a switch-hitting catcher from Venezuela, to a minor league contract. … The Mets had won 11 of Gee’s first 12 starts.