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Bullpen almost blows Bartolo Colon's 200th victory

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia reacts after striking out

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia reacts after striking out Philadelphia Phillies' Ryan Howard to end a baseball game, Thursday, May 29, 2014, in Philadelphia. Credit: AP / Matt Slocum

PHILADELPHIA - In his final moments before entering the history books Friday night, Bartolo Colon sat in the Mets' clubhouse, where he watched on television as a tense ninth inning unfolded with his 200th victory at stake.

Through a translator, Colon said he was "praying for the ball to stay in the ballpark," a request that soon was answered when the Mets won, 5-4, though only after surviving the Phillies' furious rally.

Colon's milestone win came only after Grady Sizemore missed a tying grand slam by a few feet, his drive hitting near the top of the rightfield fence. Later, rightfielder Curtis Granderson made a sliding catch to take away a run-scoring hit from Carlos Ruiz.

Jenrry Mejia inherited a pair of baserunners and allowed two hits but survived a rough ninth, freezing Reid Brignac to end it. Mejia called it "the hardest save" of the season.

Colon, a 41-year-old righthander, joined Pedro Martinez and Juan Marichal as the only pitchers born in the Dominican Republic to win 200 games.

Colon (11-9) said he was "really happy to be in that category." He got there by holding the Phillies to one run in eight innings. He also was backed by a sagging Mets offense that sprang to life against Phillies righty A.J. Burnett, battering him for five runs and 11 hits in six innings.

After a four-run fourth, Travis d'Arnaud drilled a solo shot in the fifth that opened a 5-0 lead.

The Mets entered the ninth leading 5-1. But lefty Dana Eveland allowed a double to Chase Utley, then walked Ryan Howard, prompting manager Terry Collins to summon Mejia.

After Marlon Byrd singled to load the bases, Sizemore hit a laser off the fence, good enough for a two-run double.

But Granderson's catch helped turn the tide for Mejia and helped to preserve a slice of history for Colon.

"I didn't want Bartolo to get mad," Mejia said with a laugh. "I wanted to save this game."

New York Sports