Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Cardinals 1

NEW YORK -- In four games this week against the St. Louis Cardinals, the New York Mets scored nine runs.

And won three of the games.

For the Mets to come anywhere close to their announced (but perhaps unrealistic) goal of 90 wins, they'll need to score more runs. But the pitching is on an impressive run.

Bartolo Colon had another strong start in Thursday's 4-1 Mets win, his fourth in five starts for the Mets (the other one was a nine-run clunker in Anaheim). And for the first time in his major league career, Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched the ninth inning to earn a save.

Colon followed good outings by Jenrry Mejia, Dillon Gee and Jonathon Niese, giving the Mets' starters a 1.37 ERA in the Cardinals series.

Colon allowed just one run in seven innings; Kolten Wong singled and Tony Cruz doubled with two out in the fifth. He outpitched Lance Lynn, who came into the game tied for the National League lead in wins.

The Mets faced strong pitching throughout the series, and for that matter throughout the homestand so far. They've been able to counter it with strong pitching of their own.

Daisuke in the ninth: Manager Terry Collins said Thursday morning that Kyle Farnsworth said he was fine to pitch. But when the bullpen gate opened in the ninth, Matsuzaka appeared. Farnsworth had pitched three of the past four days, and his velocity was down noticeably in his Wednesday night save.

Matsuzaka pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning Thursday. He has been a relief pitcher for less than a week, but Collins has already considered him as a possible closer.

Matsuzaka's only previous professional save was in 2000 with the Seibu Lions.

Finally two up: The Mets are two games over .500 for the first time this season, after three times getting to one game over and then losing the next game. The Mets were never as many as two games over .500 after April 16 last season.

At 12-10, New York has a better record than the defending National League champion Cardinals (12-11). When Thursday afternoon's game ended, the Mets had the same record as the Washington Nationals; the Nationals play the San Diego Padres on Thursday night.

But it's a youthful-looking 40: With Colon on the mound and Bobby Abreu starting in right field, the Mets had a pair of 40-year-olds in the lineup for the first time since Sept. 30, 2007 (a day they'd rather forget), when Moises Alou and Tom Glavine started against the Marlins.

Colon had slightly better results Thursday than Glavine did that day.

Granderson sits, then hits: Curtis Granderson was out of the Mets' lineup Thursday to make room for Abreu to get a start. Granderson pinch hit in the seventh inning and was given credit for an RBI single (off left-hander Kevin Siegrist) when his sharply hit ground ball got through Mark Ellis at second base.

A day for firsts: Thursday's firsts included: Abreu's first start as a Met, and first major league start for anyone since July 25, 2012; Abreu's first big league hit since Sept. 28, 2012, and first double since July 6, 2012; Chris Young's first home run as a Met; and Granderson's first pinch-hit as a Met.

Wind update: Compared to a normal day, it was windy and cool Thursday at Citi Field. Compared to Wednesday night, it was a glorious afternoon for baseball. Thursday's wind reading at game time was 19 mph, gusting to 34 mph.

What's next: The Mets open a three-game series with the Miami Marlins on Friday night at Citi Field. Zack Wheeler (1-2, 4.63) starts for the Mets, with Henderson Alvarez (1-2, 2.66) going for the Marlins.