MILWAUKEE -- At the tender age of 43, Bartolo Colon carved his way through the Brewers' lineup, allowing one run over seven innings, and the Mets took the series opener against the Crew at Miller Park, 5-2, on Thursday.
Curtis Granderson led off the game with a home run off Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson -- who gave up two runs over 5 1/3 innings to pick up the loss -- and doubled and scored on a Yoenis Cespedes single in the third inning. The Mets tacked on two runs in the eighth inning and one in the ninth to provide enough insurance for their fourth win over the Brewers in four tries this season.
Colon surrendered eight hits, but did not allow a walk and struck out two in lowering his ERA to 1.80 over his last four starts. Jeurys Familia remained perfect in save opportunities on the season, picking up his 20th in as many chances with a perfect ninth inning.
"He's irreplaceable, to be honest," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Colon. "He takes the ball every five days. Nothing shakes him up. He doesn't get high or low. Pitched a great game tonight, you go to shake his hand and he gives you that look and he's just like 'OK, thanks.'"
Scooter Gennett tied a career high with four hits, going 4-for-4 with an RBI double in the eighth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Getting things started: Granderson provided the Mets with a jolt by hitting a 3-1 pitch from Nelson out for a leadoff home run. It was Granderson's fifth leadoff home run of the season, the 40th of his career and his 16th with the Mets, tying him with Jose Reyes for the franchise record.
"I was just looking for something around the middle of the plate that I could drive," Granderson said. "I'm not exactly sure where the pitch was, but I know it was a strike. Any time you can get the count in your favor, it puts you in a position to be more successful."
Hernan heating up:Hernan Perez provided the Brewers' lone run and kept his hot bat going on Thursday. Following Kirk Nieuwenhuis' two-out double in the seventh inning, Perez smashed a grounder to second baseman Neil Walker that left the bat at 107 mph, according to Statcast™. The ball caromed off Walker and trickled into right field as Nieuwenhuis raced home and beat the throw. Perez, who went 2-for-3 with a stolen base, is batting .396 over his last 16 games and leads the Brewers with a .329 batting average.
"He's played well," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "We're certainly going to keep him involved. He's going to find his way in there, for sure. He's played well, he's swinging the bat against righties and lefties. Certainly, he's pushing for more playing time."
Turning two: Colon was aided by three double plays. Ryan Braun hit into an inning-ending double play in the first inning, while Colon started double plays himself in the fourth and fifth. The double play in the fourth erased an error by first baseman James Loney, and the twin killing in the fifth negated a leadoff single.
Evil Knebel:Corey Knebel needed only three fastballs -- 96, 96 and 97 mph on the radar gun -- to strike out Cespedes looking for the second out in a perfect five-pitch seventh inning in his first appearance of the season. Knebel, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game, ran into trouble in the eighth, however. All four batters he faced reached base, culminating with Kevin Plawecki's two-run single, which put the Mets up, 4-1.
"I couldn't find the feel for my curveball," Knebel said. "First day back, I was pumped, a lot of adrenaline. I just couldn't get the head out there on the curveball, so that's kind of what made everything a little difficult." More >
"I feel like I'm past the point of just giving us the chance to win, and I expect more than just a chance to win. I want to go deeper into games and perform better." -- Nelson, after his second consecutive shaky outing
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With the win, the Mets clinched the season series against the Brewers for the first time since 2008.
WHAT'S NEXT Mets:Matt Harvey will look to continue his run of recent success when he takes the ball on Friday at 8:10 p.m. ET. After posting a 6.08 ERA in his first 10 starts, Harvey has allowed just one earned run over his last 14 innings.
Brewers:Junior Guerra makes his eighth start of the season. He picked up a no-decision in a 6-3 win over the Phillies on Saturday and is 3-1 with a 3.61 ERA. The Brewers are 6-1 in his starts.