NEW YORK -- Their Sunday stumble against the Giants squarely behind them, the Mets wasted no time Monday returning to their winning ways. Bartolo Colon delivered eight shutout innings, and the Mets backed him with three first-inning homers in a 4-1 win over the Braves.
"Giving up four runs in the first inning for us is like giving up 10," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We haven't been scoring runs. Today we outhit them [9-8], but they almost hit more home runs than we did the whole month of April."
That was all the offense the Mets mustered off Atlanta pitching, but it was plenty for Colon, who became the first New York starter to pitch into the eighth inning this season. The result was Colon's 220th career victory, moving him past Pedro Martinez for sole possession of second place on Major League Baseball's all-time wins list among Dominican-born pitchers.
"Of course I'm very excited," Colon said through an interpreter. "I'm really happy about it. It's pretty neat to pass Pedro, but he's always going to be one of the big ones for us."
The Mets have won all four of their games against the Braves this season, outscoring them by a combined 21-7.
"It's nice to get four in the first," Wright said, "and just let Bartolo do his thing."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Triple apple: Coming into the game with more than six times as many home runs as the Braves, the Mets quickly added to their total off Foltynewicz. Wright opened the scoring with a solo shot to left. Following a Michael Conforto single, Cespedes extended the lead with a two-run homer. Then Duda hit one off the facing of the second deck in right field, the fifth time this season the Mets have gone back-to-back.
"I don't think it's streaky. I definitely think we are pretty hot right now," Cespedes said through an interpreter. "But I think we really have the potential in this lineup to be hitting those kind of home runs throughout the whole season."
Norris stops the bleeding: After surrendering home runs to three of the first five batters he faced, Foltynewicz limited the Mets to three more hits over the remainder of his 3 2/3-innings stint, which included 98 pitches. The former top prospect was promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday to take the rotation spot previously held by Bud Norris, who worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief in this series opener.
"After those four runs in the first, I told myself that's all they're going to get. Bud saved my butt there in the fourth by preventing that from happening," said Foltynewicz, who was making his first start since he was shut down because of a blood clot in September. More >
Living legend: Colon walked a tightrope early, squeezing out of jams in each of the first three innings. Then he put an end to Atlanta's offense altogether, retiring a dozen straight Braves from the third through seventh innings. He needed just 99 pitches to complete eight.
"I thought I'd be going out for the ninth, but that was the manager's decision," Colon said. "The most important thing is to respect whatever the manager says."
All for naught: The Braves recorded six hits, including two doubles, through the first three innings. But Colon managed to make the big pitches when necessary. Daniel Castro grounded into a double play in the first inning. Reid Brignac and Mallex Smith struck out after A.J. Pierzynski opened the second inning with a double.
"I think a lot of teams think I can't hit it when it comes straight like that. So I'll keep swinging at it and show them that I can." -- Cespedes, on Foltynewicz throwing him a 1-1 fastball
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Mets' three first-inning homers came off the bat at 106.3 (Wright), 105.9 (Cespedes) and 97.7 mph (Duda), per Statcast™. None of them were the hardest-hit balls of the inning. That honor belonged to Conforto, whose single registered at 107.2 mph.
"Even I was pretty shocked," Colon said. "I don't think I've ever hit a ball as hard as I hit that."
The three home runs hit by the Mets in the first inning exceeded the total (two) the Braves have produced over their past 20 games.
WHAT'S NEXT Braves:Matt Wisler will take the mound when Atlanta and New York resume this three-game series on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Wisler posted a 2.14 ERA in three starts against the Mets last year.
Mets:Matt Harvey's last start was his best of the season, both in form and results. He'll look to build on that when the Mets return to Citi Field on Tuesday for Harvey's second start against the Braves in his last three outings.