NEW YORK -- Bartolo Colon will have to wait until next weekend in Cleveland to catch Pedro Martinez.
Colon remained at 218 career wins, which trails Juan Marichal (243) and Martinez (219) on the all-time list among Dominican-born pitchers. Colon’s next crack at matching Martinez should come against the Indians, who originally signed him in 1993.
Behind six scoreless innings from Vince Velasquez, the Phillies snapped a season-opening, four-game losing streak. Philadelphia avoided its worst start to a season since going 0-7 in 1934.
The Mets (2-2) had lost only once in nine home games against Philadelphia last season.
They twice had Asdrubal Cabrera at second base against Velasquez. In the third, Yoenis Cespedes and Lucas Duda consecutively struck out to strand Cabrera. In the fifth, Cespedes again struck out to end the frame.
Cespedes finished 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and heard some jeers after his final at-bat. He is 2-for-16 with seven strikeouts to begin the season.
The Mets also had Alejandro De Aza at second base with two outs in the seventh after Howard botched a throw to second base on a would-be caught stealing. However, left-hander Daniel Stumpf coaxed an inning-ending flyout from Curtis Granderson.
Colon had taken a scoreless effort into the fifth, when Howard delivered an opposite-field homer to lead off the inning. Howard now has 45 homers against the Mets -- the most of any active player. Chase Utley (35), Jimmy Rollins (33), Albert Pujols (22) and Giancarlo Stanton (21) round out the top five on that list.
What’s next: Matt Harvey tries to right himself after a string of four straight subpar starts. Harvey allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings in an Opening Night loss at Kansas City. He had allowed 15 runs in 8 1/3 innings over his final three spring training starts, including an outing against the St. Louis Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate. Harvey opposes Phillies right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) in Sunday’s 1:10 p.m. ET rubber game.