Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Braves 3

NEW YORK -- Bartolo Colon did his job, and the New York Mets' makeshift lineup did enough to beat the Atlanta Braves 5-3 Friday night at Citi Field.

The 42-year-old Colon continued his age-defying 2015 season, earning his ninth win -- tied with Felix Hernandez and Gerrit Cole for the major league lead.

Manager Terry Collins, already without the injured David Wright and Daniel Murphy, rested Lucas Duda and Travis d'Arnaud, yet the Mets still found a way to score a few runs off Atlanta starter Alex Wood and the Braves bullpen.

New York improves its record to 33-29 and remains in first place in the National League East, one game ahead of the Washington Nationals.

The pitching: Colon didn't give up a hit until the fourth inning, when Freddie Freeman stroked a one-out single. He got into trouble in the fifth, when A.J. Pierzynski, Jonny Gomes and Andrelton Simmons led off with three straight singles, loading the bases. Pierzynski scored on a fielder's choice and Gomes scored on a double by Jace Peterson, but Colon managed to evade further damage.

Colon went six innings, giving up two runs on six hits, with three strikeouts, two intentional walks and one hit batsman. He left with a 4-2 lead. Alex Torres gave up a run in the seventh, but Carlos Torres then came to his aid and preserved the Mets' lead until the ninth.

Closer Jeurys Familia loaded the bases in the ninth, giving up a single and two walks after retiring the leadoff batter. But then he got Nick Markakis to ground into a game-ending double play, earning his 18th save.

The hitting: Wilmer Flores -- batting cleanup for the first time in his major-league career -- put the Mets in front with his team-leading 10th home run of the season, a solo shot to left field in the second inning. Then in the fourth, following a Flores walk, John Mayberry Jr. delivered a two-run homer to left, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead.

Mayberry Jr. also scored the Mets' fourth run, hitting an infield single in the sixth and eventually scoring on an RBI groundout by Eric Campbell, making it 4-2.

After the Braves had cut it to 4-3 in the top of the seventh, the Mets got an insurance run in the bottom of the frame. Darrell Ceciliani, in his first at-bat of the night, led off with a single, stole second base and scored on an RBI double by Michael Cuddyer off Braves reliever David Aardsma.

On the down side, Curtis Granderson had a rough night -- 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

What's next: The middle game of this three-game series, featuring a very good pitching matchup. The Mets will hand the ball to Jacob deGrom (7-4, 2.42), who will be opposed by Shelby Miller (5-2, 1.84), with first pitch scheduled for 4:10 p.m.