LOS ANGELES — Bartolo Colon took the mound with a heavy heart, and teammate Lucas Duda helped make the day a bit easier with a big bat.
Duda homered twice, drove in a career-high five runs and was involved in the New York Mets’ first triple play in over four seasons, allowing Colon to breeze to an 11-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 24.
“I’m sure Bartolo had other things on his mind than baseball, obviously with his situation,” Duda said. “We all tried to kind of rally around him and give him as much support as we could. He’s an unbelievable person. And to go out there and do what he did today shows the kind of heart he has.”
Colon (12-10) gave up two runs and five hits over six innings and struck out five, just six days after his mother Adriana passed away on Aug. 18 from breast cancer.
After the game, the 41-year-old right-hander returned to the Dominican Republic to attend her funeral. But he told Manager Terry Collins he’ll be back in time to start Aug. 31 against Philadelphia.
“What he did impressed me, but it didn’t surprise me,” Collins said. “He’s had a tough week. And when he came off after the sixth, I think that’s the first time in his career he’s ever said: ‘I’m done.’
“He was very bothered by the fact that he needed to get home and that he was going to miss a start, because he knew what it meant to the team,” Collins added. “He felt terrible about it, but I said: ‘Look, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.’“
Colon’s 92nd and final pitch resulted in the Mets’ first triple play since May 19, 2010 at Washington.
Moments after Adrian Gonzalez’s RBI single in the sixth trimmed the Dodgers’ deficit to 7-2, Matt Kemp hit a sharp grounder in the hole to third baseman Eric Campbell, who threw to second for the force before Daniel Murphy relayed to first.
Yasiel Puig tried to score from second, but Travis d’Arnaud took the throw from Duda and tagged him out. “He’s fast and aggressive, so you have to be aware of that,” Duda said.
Kevin Correia (2-1) lasted only three innings on his 34th birthday, giving up seven runs — five earned — and seven hits. Despite the loss, the Dodgers maintained their 4 1-2 game lead on San Francisco in the NL West following the Giants’ 14-6 defeat at Washington.
Duda, Ruben Tejada and d’Arnaud all homered against the right-hander, who was making his third start since the Dodgers acquired him from Minnesota. Duda’s added his 26th of the season in the ninth against Jamey Wright.
This was the 10th time in Correia’s 12-year career that he has allowed three or more homers. “Keeping the ball down isn’t always the problem. It’s getting it where I want it to go,” Correia said.