SEATTLE (AP) _ Bartolo Colon watched the line drive fall into the outfield grass and applauded. It was all Colon could do after his attempt to toss the first perfect game in New York Mets history was thwarted.
Colon came within seven outs of a perfect game on Wednesday afternoon, before giving up a two-out single to Robinson Cano in the seventh inning of the Mets’ 3-2 win over the Mariners.
Colon left a 2-2 fastball elevated on the outer half of the plate and Cano served the pitch into left field, dropping it well in front of Eric Young Jr.
“You’re a little disappointed when they get a hit, but that’s what they’re trying to do,” Colon said through an interpreter. “They’re trying to get a hit and break up the no-hitter.”
New York manager Terry Collins went one step further than disappointment. He was certain if Colon was able to get Cano to finish off the seventh he would have completed the perfect game. Collins was the Mets manager when Johan Santana ended New York’s franchise drought without a no-hitter in 2012.
“No doubt. There is no doubt in my mind that if he got by Cano he ramps it up. You see it a lot,” Collins said. “But you know, great game by him.”
A no-hitter is one of the few things missing from Colon’s resume. He has a Cy Young. He’s won a World Series title. He’s made a career comeback after injuries left him out of baseball in 2010.
At age 41, Colon is pitching well enough that he’s regularly being talked about as trade fodder for teams needing a starter with the non-waiver trade deadline rapidly approaching.
“I don’t know anything about that,” Colon said. “Those are decisions for the upper management and you can’t control that stuff.”
Colon retired the first 20 batters he faced before Cano’s single. 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.
“He was a Cy Young class guy,” Cano said. “He knows how to pitch. Back in the day when the guy threw hard, everything was middle of the plate, fastball. Now you see a different guy that moves the ball, both sides, and a pretty good change up.”
Colon threw a one-hitter for the Angels against the Yankees in 2000 and was cruising until the seventh. 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.
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. Colon was replaced by Jeurys Familia and Willie Bloomquist’s infield groundout scored another, but Endy Chavez struck out to end the threat.
Jenrry Mejia got his 13th save pitching the ninth, despite giving up a pair of singles.
“(Colon) was awesome today. Great command of his fastball. We didn’t use his off-speed that much,” Mets catcher Anthony Recker said. “… It made my job really easy.”
Daniel Murphy had an RBI double in the first and David Wright had an RBI single in the seventh. New York also had a score in the fifth when Ruben Tejada was hit in the helmet with a 94 mph fastball from Seattle starter Taijuan Walker. Tejada instantly crumpled to the ground before walking off the field on his own power. Tejada passed all initial testing and was expected to fly with the team to Milwaukee.
“It scared me,” Tejada said.
NOTES: The Mets have 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.
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)