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Harvey fades late, Mets lose to Diamondbacks 5-3

Thursday - 7/4/2013, 3:50am  ET

MIKE FITZPATRICK
AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- The place was packed and Matt Harvey was rarin' to go. Then he had to sit through 2 hours of rain before throwing his first pitch.

Harvey had a hard time adjusting to the long delay and it showed on the mound Wednesday night in one of his worst starts of a stellar season. Randall Delgado outpitched the New York Mets ace for his first major league win in more than a year, and the Arizona Diamondbacks snapped a five-game skid with a 5-3 victory.

"I prepared for 7 o'clock, and I'm not one to make an excuse and should have been more prepared," Harvey said. "Obviously, I didn't do a good job with that."

Mets nemesis Cody Ross hit a three-run homer off Harvey to put Arizona ahead. Delgado struck out a career-high nine and walked none in seven innings to give the NL West leaders their first victory by a starting pitcher since Wade Miley beat St. Louis on June 5.

Diamondbacks starters went 0-11 over the next 24 games until Delgado (1-2) held New York in check for his first win since June 6, 2012, with Atlanta at Miami.

Josh Satin hit his first career homer and David Wright also went deep in front of a rare sellout crowd at Citi Field. Daniel Murphy homered in the eighth off David Hernandez, then ex-Met Heath Bell got three outs against his former team for his 15th save.

Harvey (7-2) is a strong candidate to start the All-Star game on his home mound July 16. Hoping to boost his bid, he pitched through traffic early and took a shutout into the sixth. But he faded late on a humid night and ended up charged with nine hits and a season-high five runs in six-plus innings.

"The All-Star game's not on my mind. I have one thing to do and that's to put up zeros, and I didn't do that," Harvey said. "Pretty much all night I wasn't making good pitches and wasn't hitting my spots too well. The ball was up a little bit and they took full advantage of that."

The 24-year-old righty struck out nine and walked three, matching his most free passes this year. The five runs allowed tied his career high set Aug. 5 last year in San Diego.

Harvey acknowledged he didn't refocus properly after the start was delayed 1 hour, 51 minutes.

"It didn't help him. As you know, he gets all ramped up to pitch," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I mean, it was all about command. A lot of deep counts. We've seen him pitch a lot better, that's for sure."

Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt was rested, so teammate Cliff Pennington and manager Kirk Gibson needled the big first baseman that he must be under the weather with "Harveyitis."

But on this night, it was Delgado who had staying power. Eric Chavez started in Goldschmidt's place and batted third, chasing Harvey with an RBI double off the left-field wall in the seventh.

"To beat one of the best obviously feels good," Ross said. "We had a really good approach as a team."

A sold-out crowd of 41,257 on Fireworks Night -- the largest at Citi Field all season -- waited out the rain and filled up the seats enough to do a respectable Wave.

Harvey was slow to find a rhythm, though not his 98 mph fastball. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases in the first before Martin Prado grounded sharply into an inning-ending double play.

Harvey struck out his next four batters and had a 2-0 lead in the sixth when Arizona got to him. Miguel Montero walked on 10 pitches, Prado singled and Ross lofted a two-out drive into the left-field corner for his fifth home run.

"That was the change, pretty much. After that, I don't think he was the same," Montero said. "It was humid, he had 100 pitches already."

Suddenly trailing 3-2, Harvey yanked his cap off his head and wiped sweat off his face. It was the first time in his career he had given up a homer with at least two runners on base.

"Pretty much put it on a tee for him," Harvey said of the hanging slider to Ross. "Obviously, it's a pitch I wish I could have back, but it's over and done with."

Harvey walked Tony Campana to start the seventh and Aaron Hill blooped a single before Chavez's double made it 4-2. Montero added a sacrifice fly off Scott Rice.

"He's pretty jacked up about all he's facing right now. He's all fired up about the All-Star thing, the situation," Collins said. "I don't think that's it. At 6:30 he was standing in my doorway -- 'Are we startin'? Are we startin'? Are we startin'?' He's ready to go. And then to stick around for 2
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