NEW YORK — It was a great night for the graybeards at Citi Field.
Bobby Abreu went 4 for 4 with two RBIs and Bartolo Colon pitched four-hit ball into the eighth inning as the New York Mets turned to a pair of 40-somethings to beat the San Diego Padres 6-2 on June 13.
“Representing the 40s. When we go to the field, we throw everything that we’ve got,” Abreu said. “Been playing this game for a long time, so pretty much we know what we have to do.”
Abreu scored twice in the rain-delayed opener of a three-game series between fourth-place teams struggling to score. Colon (6-5) set down 18 straight batters and improved to 4-0 with a 1.78 ERA in his last five starts, sending the Mets to only their second victory in 10 games.
“We needed to have him get deep in the game. It was important for us because we were so short in the ‘pen,” Manager Terry Collins said.
Rene Rivera hit a two-run homer but Andrew Cashner (2-6) failed to hold a rare lead for the Padres, who have dropped five straight and nine of 11.
The hard-throwing Cashner, who entered with a 2.13 ERA, has lost five straight decisions. He gave up four runs and eight hits over six innings in his second start since spending more than three weeks on the disabled list with a sore right elbow.
Fans were advised to take cover on the concourse during the rain delay because of dangerous weather.
Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings was shown on the big video screen in center field for most of a delay at the start that lasted 1 hour, 56 minutes. And even after the ballgame began, some in the sparse crowd announced at 28,085 seemed to be paying much more attention to hockey.
With the Rangers trying to stave off elimination again, an audible groan went up in the seventh inning — just as New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh hit the post with a shot in overtime.
After the final out, some fans lingered near TVs inside the ballpark to keep watching. In the end, the Rangers lost in double overtime.
The 41-year-old Colon had uncharacteristic trouble with his command at the start. He walked his first batter and gave up Yonder Alonso’s leadoff single in the second before Rivera connected for his fourth home run.
“I got a little mad. I was meaning to throw that pitch outside and I just went in a little too much so that really got me fired up,” Colon said through a translator. “I think it was just a matter of getting through the first two innings. After that I got really comfortable, found my zone and kept going from there.”
The home run gave Cashner an uncommon 2-0 lead — the Padres had scored only once in his previous 33 innings.
Colon, however, quickly regrouped and retired his next 18 batters until Alexi Amarista opened the eighth with a double.
“I’ve known Bart for a long time and at times, you’ll see him get stronger as the game goes on. I think you saw that tonight,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “He held his velocity throughout the game, even into the eighth inning.”
After throwing a called third strike past pinch-hitter Tommy Medica with his 118th pitch, Colon was lifted. He walked off the mound to a warm hand and softly clapped his hands. Vic Black retired cleanup man Carlos Quentin with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Batting fourth in place of Curtis Granderson (calf), the 40-year-old Abreu hit a leadoff double in the second and scored on Taylor Teagarden’s two-out single.
“Anytime they need me there, I’m always going to be ready to play the game,” Abreu said.
He singled in the fourth and Lucas Duda tied it 2-all on a two-out double just beyond the reach of diving center fielder Will Venable. Matt den Dekker blooped a ground-rule double that put New York ahead. “Couldn’t stop the two-out hits,” Cashner said.
Abreu added RBI singles in the fifth and seventh. Slumping star David Wright had a long sacrifice fly in the seventh.
It was the first four-hit game for Abreu, who did not play in the majors last season, since May 30, 2011, with the Angels at Kansas City. “I made two good pitches to him,” Cashner said. “He’s a good hitter, a professional hitter. Couldn’t get him out.”
(MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Sports Writer)