SEATTLE (AP) — Bartolo Colon came within seven outs of a perfect game, giving up a single to Robinson Cano with two outs in the seventh inning, and the New York Mets held off a late rally to beat the Seattle Mariners 3-2 on Wednesday.
The 41-year-old Colon retired the first 20 batters he faced before Cano lined a 2-2 pitch into left field. Colon applauded the single that dropped in front of left field Eric Young Jr. Colon then had to hold on as Seattle rallied in the eighth and came within inches of tying the game on Brad Miller’s RBI double that hit off the top of the wall.
Colon (9-8) improved to 13-1 all-time at Safeco Field, including his dominance of the Mariners when he was pitching for the Angels. Seattle had no answers for the rotund right-hander, who gave up two runs and three hits in 7 1-3 innings.
Corey Hart led off the eighth walking on a 3-2 pitch, just the fourth three-ball count Colon reached. After a fly out, Dustin Ackley singled to right, bringing the tying run to the plate.
Miller nearly tied it with one swing, doubling off the top of the wall in right-center, missing a home run by only a couple of feet. Hart scored and Ackley was held at third. That was it for Colon, replaced by Jeurys Familia.
Willie Bloomquist pinch-hit and his infield groundout — initially ruled a hit before review — scored Ackley. Familia struck out Endy Chavez swinging on a breaking ball with Miller at third base.
Jenrry Mejia got his 13th save pitching the ninth, despite giving up a pair of singles.
Colon threw a one-hitter for the Angels against the Yankees in 2000 and was cruising until the seventh. Ackley lined out to Juan Lagares in center leading off the sixth, the hardest hit ball to that point. Miller followed with a slow grounder to first and Jesus Sucre weakly grounded out to third, and Colon was perfect through six.
He got the first two outs of the seventh, but Cano’s single ended the bid for perfection. Cano was hitting .400 against Colon entering the game.
Colon was given an early lead thanks to control problems by Seattle starter Taijuan Walker. Young walked on four pitches to start the game, stole second on a pick-off attempt and scored on Daniel Murphy’s RBI double. That was the only hit allowed by Walker until David Wright led off the sixth with a single, but the Mariners’ 21-year-old prospect struggled with control all day. Walker (1-2) walked six and struck out five in his first start in the majors since July 7.
Walker also recovered from a scary moment in the fifth when he hit New York’s Ruben Tejada in the helmet with a 94 mph fastball. Tejada instantly crumpled to the ground before walking off the field on his own power.
Walker was done an inning later when he loaded the bases without recording an out. Lagares’ sacrifice fly gave the Mets a 2-0 lead and Wright added an RBI single in the seventh.
NOTES: The Mets have one no-hitter (Johan Santana, 2012) and 38 one-hitters in franchise history. … Colon’s only loss at Safeco field came in 2001 during the Mariners’ 116-win season. … Seattle LHP James Paxton (back) is expected to throw one more rehab start this weekend in the minors before possibly rejoining the club.
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