(SportsNetwork.com) - Even at the age of 41, Bartolo Colon is pitching exceptionally well in his 17th major league season.
Colon tries to win his seventh consecutive decision when he leads the New York Mets against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the conclusion of a four-game series Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.
Colon is 6-0 in his last eight starts since a May 6 defeat at Miami. He hasn't given up more than two earned runs in any of previous seven starts and has pitched eight innings and given up a run in each of his last two, most recently against Oakland on Tuesday.
The right-hander has compiled a 4-1 mark with a 1.22 ERA in six career games versus the Pirates. His only defeat against them came June 17, 2004 at PNC Park when he pitched for the Angels.
The last time Colon faced the Pirates he reached a milestone. Colon racked up a season-best nine strikeouts, including the 2,000th of his career, while limiting the Pirates to five hits and a walk over 7 1/3 sharp innings of a 5-0 win on May 28.
Edinson Volquez is coming off an 8-1 win at Tampa Bay Monday night when he pitched eight strong innings. He surrendered five hits and a run, and exited after throwing 110 pitches, the most this season for the right-hander.
The result was a sharp contrast to his most recent home start. On June 18 versus Cincinnati, Volquez gave up a season-high eight runs over 2 1/3 innings of an 11-4 loss. He is 1-5 with a 6.63 ERA in eight career starts against the Mets.
Yesterday, Daniel Murphy's second-inning single knocked in two of five early runs for the Mets in a 5-3 win. New York halted a three-game losing streak.
The Mets scored three times in the first inning off Gerrit Cole in the young Pittsburgh hurler's first start since June 3, then struck twice more in the second to stake Jon Niese to a comfortable lead.
Niese (5-4) got through six innings to allow three runs and strike out five, with Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia combining to hold the Pirates scoreless the rest of the way.
"Our offense did a great job getting the early lead," Niese said. "It helped us secure that win."
Cole (6-4), who returned from a 3 1/2-week absence due to shoulder fatigue, lasted just four innings, permitting seven hits and three walks while laboring through 93 pitches.
"I didn't get hit around too hard, but I just was not sharp," Cole said.
Josh Harrison went 2-for-4 with a run scored in the loss, just the second in the Pirates' last eight games.
Mets third baseman David Wright has a bruised rotator cuff in the left shoulder. An MRI revealed the injury on Saturday. Wright is not expected to be placed on the disabled list, and he will be evaluated again on Monday.
The Mets took two of three from the Pirates at Citi Field May 26-28.