The Mets had lost five of six and hadn't scored in 18 innings when Terry Collins left Citi Field on Sunday evening looking forward to a much-needed day off.
Did he return Tuesday with a fresh outlook? With some new ideas to jump-start the Mets?
Not really. But Collins did return with a sprained ankle, courtesy of a wayward step off a curb.
The manager was limping and so was the Mets' offense when the team reconvened for a two-game series against the Orioles. Collins was his usual buoyant self, but it took the Mets four innings to get their offensive legs under them.
Finally, the Mets struck for three runs in the fourth. The scoreless streak was over at 21 innings.
Bartolo Colon made the windfall hold up to join Matt Harvey as a five-game winner as the Mets beat the Orioles, 3-2, Tuesday night before 20,534.
Colon gave up one run in 7 2/3 innings -- a home run to Manny Machado, his next-to-last batter. He allowed six hits, walked none and struck out nine. For the season, Colon (5-1, 2.90 ERA) has walked one and struck out 34 in 40 1/3 innings.
"Didn't he one game throw 80 strikes in a row?" Michael Cuddyer said. "Fifty or something? You don't get too shocked when it's talking about him. You get amazed. He is amazing."
Carlos Torres got the last out of the eighth and Jeurys Familia survived a leadoff home run by Chris Davis in the ninth to record his 11th save.
The Mets (17-10) had lost consecutive 1-0 games to Washington before Monday's day off. After Wednesday night's series finale, the Mets will be off again Thursday before a weekend series in Philadelphia.
The Mets were blanked over the first three innings by Bud Norris (1-3), who came in with a 12.18 ERA. Not exactly one of Washington's stable of aces who the Mets had to contend with for four games last week.
Lucas Duda opened the fourth with a booming double to center. One out later, Daniel Murphy singled him home to give the Mets their first run since Murphy hit a three-run double in the eighth inning Friday.
Wilmer Flores followed with a double down the leftfield line to move Murphy to third. Kevin Plawecki's two-run double to left made it 3-0.
"Big," Collins said of the sudden outburst. "Very big."
The Mets had a scare in the fifth when Juan Lagares nearly collided with Cuddyer while making a backhanded diving catch on a ball hit to left-center by Everth Cabrera.
Lagares backhanded the ball while going to the ground. Cuddyer tried to avoid the Gold Glove centerfielder but appeared to graze Lagares' head going by with his leg.
Lagares stayed down briefly, but the issue was more the impact of landing on his right side than anything Cuddyer did.
"At the moment, I just felt like I couldn't breathe," Lagares said.
After a visit from Collins and trainer Ray Ramirez, a smiling Lagares stayed in the game. He later said he was fine.
Said Cuddyer: "I was actually about to dive myself. Right as I was making the decision to dive, I see him right there and I jump out of the way."
The two nearly came together again in the eighth when Cuddyer ran in front of Lagares to catch a fly ball for the first out. Lagares veered away at the last moment.
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