Rapid Reaction: Rays 4, Mets 3

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- After running their winning streak to seven games, the New York Mets have hit a speed bump.

Bartolo Colon failed to protect a three-run lead and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Mets 4-3 in Sunday’s rubber game at Tropicana Field.

Colon (10-11) surrendered a tiebreaking solo homer to Richie Shaffer in the seventh.

The Mets failed to protect 3-0 leads in consecutive losses to the Rays and dropped to 59-52. The Amazin's went 4-2 on their Florida trip.

Walks in the park: All-Star Chris Archer walked four batters in the second, including Curtis Granderson with the bases loaded to force in the game's opening run. Archer later in the inning surrendered a two-run single to Daniel Murphy on a full-count offering as the Mets built a 3-0 lead.

Despite a high early pitch count -- including 59 through two innings -- Archer settled down and completed six innings. He departed with the score tied 3-3. He had seven strikeouts in the opening three innings and finished with 10 in a 116-pitch effort.

Oops: With Curtis Granderson serving as the designated hitter, Kelly Johnson got only his fifth career start in right field. Johnson got twisted around on a fly ball to the track by Rene Rivera in the third inning. Rivera was credited with a double that placed two in scoring position. John Jaso followed with a sacrifice fly that pulled the Rays within 3-1.

Jaso then delivered a two-run double against Colon in the fifth to tie the score. Colon was charged with four runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Right stuff: After pinch hitting for Johnson in the seventh, Juan Lagares remained in the game in right field, even though he is the reigning Gold Glove winner in center field. That’s because the two other outfielders at the time -- Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes -- do not have experience at that position. Lagares started nine games for the Mets in right field in 2013.

What’s next: The Mets return home to face ex-Met Jose Reyes, red-hot Carlos Gonzalez and the Troy Tulowitzki-less Colorado Rockies. Jonathon Niese (6-9, 3.51 ERA) opposes rookie right-hander Jon Gray (0-0, 4.50) in Monday’s 7:10 p.m. ET series opener. In the Florida State League, David Wright is due to begin a rehab assignment as the DH for Class A St. Lucie on Monday.