Cardinals 14, Mets 9: Bartolo Colon struggles as Mets rocked

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Bartolo Colon was charged with four runs on six hits and a walk in 3⅔ innings and the New York Mets went on to lose to a St. Louis Cardinals split squad 14-9 Saturday at Tradition Field.

The Mets dropped to 4-5-2 in Grapefruit League play.

Colon departed with a pair of runners on base in the fourth. Lefty-specialist Jerry Blevins then entered and retired lefty-hitting Kolten Wong on a flyout to left field.

“That’s what I’m going to be brought in to do, so it’s nice to get your feet wet in a situation that could possibly happen,” Blevins said. “It’s the same intensity, same kind of situation.”

Colon threw 57 pitches (41 strikes).

“I felt healthy,” Colon said through an interpreter. “Unfortunately, the way I pitched today, they gave me a little bit of a rough time and it wasn’t great. The location, I thought I was throwing it where I wanted it to, but the batters were able to get me. They took advantage.”

Yer out! Plate umpire Angel Hernandez ejected Stolmy Pimentel in the sixth inning after the minor-league free agent surrendered a one-out homer to Carson Kelly, a double to Wong, hit Stephen Piscotty with a pitch, then surrendered a homer to Randal Grichuk and plunked Jonathan Rodriguez with a changeup.

Piscotty was sent for X-rays of his left elbow.

“I don’t think anybody throws at anybody, especially when the wind is gailing to left field,” manager Terry Collins said. “You give up fly balls, they’re home runs. I don’t think you throw at anybody for that purpose. [Hernandez] just said that due to the circumstances, he had to throw him out -- the fact that he hit Piscotty right after a homer, and then another homer. He hit the guy with a changeup, so I don’t think it was certainly intentional.”

Gabriel Ynoa, Pimentel and Josh Smoker combined to allow nine runs in relief.

Welcome back: Matt Reynolds entered the game at shortstop for Wilmer Flores. It marked Reynolds’ first game action after being sidelined from Grapefruit League play for four days with a tight right hamstring.

“Everything felt good,” said Reynolds, who went 0-for-2.

With Asdrubal Cabrera idle for at least two weeks with a knee injury, Flores was making his first Grapefruit League start at shortstop. He had started his first six exhibition games at third base.

Flores will be seeing more time at shortstop with Cabrera potentially opening the season on the disabled list.

“I told Wilmer we’ve got to get him some first-base time in also next week,” Collins said. “And I’m just trying to get him as comfortable as I can at third right now, just in case something unforeseen should happen and David [Wright] not be ready. We’ve got to have somebody ready to play there.”

Flores has made 19 minor-league starts at first base, but none at the major-league level. He could start there occasionally over Lucas Duda against a tough lefty.

“I’ve seen him take enough groundballs there,” Collins said. “I think he’ll be OK. I know he’s not real comfortable yet around the bag. So we’ll just get him some work there.”

Hold that Tiger? Matt Bowman, a Rule 5 pick from the Mets in December, faced his original organization. The Princeton product allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk in two innings. The damage against Bowman included an opposite-field RBI single by Michael Conforto.

If Bowman fails to make St. Louis’ bullpen, he will need to go through Rule 5 waivers, then be offered back to the Mets.

Bowman went 7-16 with a 5.53 ERA in 28 appearances (26 starts) for Triple-A Las Vegas in 2015.

What’s next: It’s Matt Harvey Day in Jupiter as the Mets face the Miami Marlins on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET (WOR). Harvey opposes Stony Brook University product Tom Koehler.