Colon, Mets top Cardinals

Flushing, NY ( - Bartolo Colon tossed seven strong innings and Daniel Murphy drove in a pair of runs to lead the New York Mets over the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-1, in the finale of a four-game set at Citi Field.

Colon (2-3) allowed just one run on four hits and struck out eight, as the Mets took three of four from the defending National League champions.

Murphy ended 2-for-3 and Chris Young hit his first homer of the season for New York, which has won seven of 10 to move two games above .500 for the season (12-10). Eric Young Jr. scored two runs and Curtis Granderson showed signs of breaking out of a season-long slump with a key RBI for his new club.

St. Louis starter Lance Lynn (4-1) was hit with the setback, marking his first career loss in March or April. The right-hander was charged with three runs -- two earned -- on four hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. He struck out nine and walked two, falling to 12-1 in the first two months of the season for his career.

With the game tied 1-1, the Mets went ahead in the sixth when Murphy doubled home Eric Young, who led off the inning by reaching on a throwing error by Lynn that allowed him to advance to second base.

"One thing that sticks out to me and sticks out to our guys is we're not playing the kind of baseball that we can play with the things that we can control, solid defense and doing the little things right," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

New York added two more runs in the seventh. Anthony Recker started the inning with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ruben Tejada. Lynn was then lifted in favor of reliever Kevin Siegrest to face the pinch-hitting Granderson, who lined a one-hopper past Mark Ellis at second base to score Recker.

Granderson was thrown out trying to go to second on the play, but New York got another run when Eric Young followed with a triple and scored on Murphy's bloop single to left for a 4-1 edge.

The ever-changing Mets bullpen continued to evolve with Carlos Torres and Scott Rice combining to get out of trouble in the eighth, while Daisuke Matsuzaka worked the ninth for his first career major league save.

Matsuzaka, who entered training camp battling for the fifth starter role and was sent to Triple-A to begin the season before being called up as a reliever, had three saves while in Japan. He got Allen Craig to line out to right to start the ninth, struck out Daniel Descalso and then got Peter Bourjos to foul out to become the fourth different reliever to get a save for the Mets this season.

"I wanted to have Dice close today," said Mets manager Terry Collins of Matsuzaka. "I wanted to him to get used to it. I don't know what's going to happen. Kyle (Farnsworth) done a great job, but I wanted to see how Dice was going to handle it."

The slumping Granderson started the game on the bench. He entered the contest with just one hit in his last 25 at-bats, ending an 0-for-22 skid with a 1- for-3 effort on Wednesday night.

"That was a big hit for Curtis," said Collins referencing Granderson's RBI hit in this game. "Hopefully this is the stage he breaks out of it."

The newest Met Bobby Abreu started in right field in place of Granderson, who then entered for Abreu as a defensive replacement after his pinch-hitting duty. Abreu finished 1-for-3 in his first start in the majors since July 25, 2012.

The teams exchanged fifth-inning runs when Tony Cruz came through with an RBI double for the Cards and Chris Young answered with a solo homer in the half of the inning.

Kolten Wong, who scored on Cruz's hit, had two of the four hits for the Cardinals, who have dropped three of four overall.

Game Notes

Eric Young has reached base safely in 18 straight games ... Recker got the start at catcher in place of Travis d'Arnaud, who was given the day off after a night game. The Mets improved to 5-0 this season and 21-14 dating back to last season when Recker starts.