WASHINGTON -- No need to panic!
David Wright, Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker homered and soon-to-be birthday boy Bartolo Colon rebounded from a pair of shaky outings as the Mets beat Washington 7-1 in Monday's series opener at Nationals Park.
The Mets (26-18) closed to within a half-game of Washington (27-18) for first place in the National League East.
Colon (4-3) allowed a first-inning RBI single to Ryan Zimmerman, but he kept the Nationals off the scoreboard for the remainder of his seven-inning outing. Colon had allowed eight runs in 9 2/3 innings over his previous two starts. He had walked five batters -- his most issued in a game in 11 years -- in a 7-1 loss to Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals last Wednesday at Citi Field.
Colon turns 43 on Tuesday.
Wright delivered a three-run homer against Gonzalez in a five-run third inning. Six straight Mets batters reached base during that frame. Wright had struck out in the first inning with two runners on base.
Wright produced the 86th go-ahead homer of his career, snapping a tie with Darryl Strawberry for the most in franchise history. Overall, Wright now has 240 homers as a Met. That's a dozen shy of matching Strawberry's franchise record.
Cespedes and Walker's homers came back-to-back in the fifth. It marked the seventh time this season that Mets teammates delivered consecutive homers. Cespedes' 32 homers since joining the Mets on Aug. 1, 2015, match Chris Davis and Khris Davis for most in the majors during that span.
What's next: Matt Harvey attempts to rebound from the worst start of his career in a rematch against Stephen Strasburg. Harvey allowed nine runs in 2 2/3 innings on Thursday at Citi Field in a 9-1 loss to Washington. The Mets had considered skipping Harvey, but he insisted on taking his regular turn.