By Todd Zolecki, Michael Radano and Nick Suss
PHILADELPHIA -- It had been two-plus weeks since the Mets had won more than a two-game series, but they returned to their winning ways Sunday afternoon against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Bartolo Colon had pitched better, but he performed well enough in the 7-4 victory to help the Mets take the three-game series on Mother's Day. He allowed four runs in six-plus innings to become the Majors' first six-game winner this season. Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson crushed a two-run home run to right field in the fifth inning, and Wilmer Flores and Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit back-to-back doubles in the sixth build the lead.
"You can't say enough about [Colon]," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "At his age , if you look around baseball, you have to look at this guy. You can't marvel at him, you have to figure out how he gets outs, and it's all about location. He never gives you the same look, and he's tough to get a bead on."
Phillies right-hander Chad Billingsley struggled in his second start of the season. He allowed five runs in five-plus innings as the Phillies fell to 11-21, their worst start since they opened the 1997 season at 10-22.
"I don't think anybody wants to be where we're at," Phillies third baseman Cody Asche said. "But, you know, we've got to live with it and we've got to find a way to get better."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
It had to be the shoes: Granderson stood out among both teams due to his all-pink cleats in celebration of Mother's Day. With one out in the fifth, he made a bigger impression on the game as he hit a 3-2 pitch into the right-field stands for his third home run of the season, giving the Mets a 3-2 lead. More >
Billingsley helps, hurts himself: Billingsley hit a solo home run to left field in the third inning to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead, but he could not follow that up with a shutdown inning. He allowed a run in the fourth to tie the game, and after the Phillies took a one-run lead in the fourth, he allowed Granderson's two-run homer in the fifth. More >
No free passes: Colon threw strong six innings before he was lifted in the seventh after allowing the first two hitters to reach. The 41-year-old, now 6-1 with a 3.30 ERA, did extend his streak without allowing a walk to 40 1/3 innings. He has allowed just one free pass this season. More >
Utley doubles up:Chase Utley's batting average dropped to .099 Friday, the lowest among MLB qualified hitters through a team's first 30 games since 1914. He hit a pinch-hit single Saturday night, and on Sunday doubled and scored in the fourth inning, raising his average to .116 with the 1-for-3 day. It was Utley's first double of the season, which the Phillies hope is a sign things are going to pick up offensively for him. More >
"It was a minus situation, and I hate to use some of those guys in a minus situation. [Jeanmar Gomez] is a ground-ball pitcher and was one pitch away from getting a ground ball and out of the inning. He wasn't able to get it done." -- Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg, on why he chose Gomez to pitch the eighth inning with the Phillies trailing by a run. Gomez allowed two runs as the Mets took a three-run lead.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• The Mets have dominated the Phillies over the past three seasons, and on Sunday made it six straight series wins at Citizens Bank Park. Overall, the Mets have taken 22 of the last 29 games against their National League East rivals.
• Asche snapped a 0-for-23 slump with a double to left field in the seventh inning. "This game is tough," he said. "It will wear on you. That's why it's important to just rely on your teammates and keep being the same person every day when you show up to the park. Don't quit on yourself, don't quit on the team. Keep working. Things will turn around."
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Mets won a replay-review challenge in the bottom of the first inning, when Ben Revere led off with a ground ball to Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores. Flores' throw appeared to beat Revere on a bang-bang play, but first-base umpire Angel Hernandez called Revere safe. After a brief review, replay officials overturned the call and Revere was out.
Mets:Jacob deGrom (3-3, 2.95 ERA) will get the start in the series opener Monday (8:05 p.m. ET) as the Mets travel to Wrigley Field for a four-games series. The Cubs counter with left-hander Jon Lester (2-2, 4.04). In the second game of the series on Tuesday, top Mets prospect Noah Syndergaard will make his Major League debut.
Phillies: The Keystone State rivalry gets underway Monday night at 7:05 ET with the opener of a four-game set at Citizens Bank Park. Right-hander Jerome Williams (2-2, 5.18 ERA) faces Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole (4-1, 2.27) in the series opener.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. Nick Suss is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.