NEW YORK — Bartolo Colon was in immediate trouble again, even against a favorite foe.
Robinson Chirinos hit an early three-run homer, Adrian Beltre also went deep, and the Texas Rangers ended their six-game losing streak on the night of July 5th with a 5-3 victory over Colon and the New York Mets.
Alex Rios had three hits, including an RBI double in a four-run first inning off Colon, a longtime Texas nemesis. The right-hander has allowed at least three first-inning runs in consecutive starts for the first time in his career. He has an 8.47 ERA in the first inning this year and a 3.24 mark otherwise.
“I have no idea why,” Colon said through a translator. “I was just having trouble getting my pitches where I wanted them that first inning.”
Travis d’Arnaud homered for the Mets, who have dropped five of six and eight of 10. David Wright had a double in four at-bats as he returned to the lineup after missing seven games with a bruised left rotator cuff.
The team said right-handed reliever Buddy Carlyle was on his way from Triple-A Las Vegas to New York, and Mets Manager Terry Collins confirmed “there is a possibility” left-hander Jonathon Niese will be placed on the disabled list with shoulder trouble.
“We will make the announcement (July 6th), ” Collins said. “We are going to wait to see when he gets in here, how he is doing.”
Colon (8-7) went seven innings but lost his second consecutive outing after going 6-0 with a 1.58 ERA in his previous seven starts.
The 41-year-old right-hander fell to 20-9 in 34 starts against the Rangers, his most wins against any team and the most by any pitcher vs. Texas.
Colon has served up 14 home runs this season — matching his total last year with Oakland. Six of those have come in the first inning, along with 15 of the 39 extra-base hits he has allowed.
“He’s a very experienced guy. He knows tendencies, he understands the game very well. So if you can get him early, you have the advantage,” Rios said.
Colby Lewis (6-5) pitched six steady innings to help the banged-up Rangers win for only the third time in 17 games. They snapped a 10-game skid on the road, their longest since a club-record slide of 12 games in 2003, with their first win away from home since June 16 in Oakland.
Lewis allowed three runs — two earned — and eight hits. He struck out seven, walked none and pitched around Wright’s leadoff double in the fifth, retiring his final six batters to protect a two-run lead.
Shawn Tolleson escaped an eighth-inning jam after Texas turned Juan Lagares’ hard grounder into a double play.
“He is not swinging real good right now, so we put the bunt on. He did not get it down and he hit into a double play,” Collins said.
Joakim Soria, pitching for the first time in six days, worked a one-hit ninth for his 16th save in 17 chances.
Elvis Andrus and Rios hit consecutive doubles in the first to put Texas ahead. Colon had a chance to get out of the inning down by only one, but Chirinos drove a 1-2 pitch the other way to right-center for his eighth home run.
Beltre, who also homered July 4th in the Rangers’ first visit to Citi Field, made it 5-0 in the third with his sixth career home run off Colon.
Curtis Granderson hit an RBI double, and Bobby Abreu had a run-scoring single in the bottom half, but the Mets squandered a great opportunity for more. With the bases loaded, Wright flied out to shallow center, Lucas Duda struck out, and Lagares grounded out.
“Just fell short tonight,” said d’Arnaud, who hit a lead-off homer in the fourth.
Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy made a diving stop in the sixth and managed to throw out Rougned Odor from the seat of his pants. Odor singled to center with two outs in the eighth, but Lagares threw out Carlos Pena at the plate.
(MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Sports Writer)