John Buck 's start to 2013 has him in some elite company.
Buck goes for another big performance at the plate, while Harvey tries to win for the third time in as many starts Saturday when the Mets face the struggling Minnesota Twins .
Buck was traded twice in the offseason, landing in New York (6-4) from Toronto in a seven-player deal in December. The Mets were hoping Buck could provide some leadership and stability behind the plate, and so far he's blown away those expectations.
He's batting .351 with six homers, becoming only the fourth player in 92 years to total 19 RBIs in the first 10 games. Baltimore's Chris Davis did it this year, while Lou Gehrig (1927) and Manny Ramirez (1999) also accomplished the feat.
"I'm benefiting from last year. I just tried too hard," Buck said of his .192 average and 12 homers with Miami in 2012. "Now, I'm just going up there and trying to hit the ball solid, and good things are happening."
That certainly was the case Friday, when Buck connected for a grand slam in a 16-5 win at Minnesota (4-6) in the opener of this three-game interleague series.
"You're almost starting to take it for granted," manager Terry Collins said. "When you need a big hit, he's going to get it. And he's going to drive in runs when he gets his hit. It's just amazing, one night after the next."
So far, the same could be said of Harvey's performances on the mound. The right-hander (2-0, 0.64 ERA) has a chance to become the first Met to win his first three starts since Mike Pelfrey - now with the Twins - won four in a row in 2010.
Harvey turned in another dominant outing Monday, yielding one run and three hits with nine strikeouts in seven innings of a 7-2 win at Philadelphia. He's among the NL leaders with 19 strikeouts in 14 innings.
"He has that ability, when he misses out over the plate, to get good hitters to miss," Buck told the team's official website.
David Wright went 3 for 5 with a double, triple and four RBIs Friday. He's batting .464 with 10 RBIs in seven career meetings with Minnesota.
The Twins, losers of four in a row, are scheduled to activate Scott Diamond off the disabled list and give him the ball for the first time since undergoing offseason elbow surgery. The left-hander allowed four runs and six hits in five innings of a rehabilitation start with Class-A Fort Myers on Sunday.
Diamond is looking to build on his impressive 2012 rookie season, when he went 12-9 with a 3.54 ERA, the lowest of any Minnesota starter. However, he went 0-4 with a 4.95 ERA over his final six home starts after posting a 6-1 record and 2.28 ERA in his first eight.
"I'm going to try to repeat last year," Diamond told the team's official website. "Whether or not the numbers look the same, there are a lot of positives and things I learned from last year. Some mental triggers I hope I can repeat this year."
Joe Mauer had two hits Friday and is batting .468 over his last 18 interleague games.
|New York Mets|
|March 22, 2013||Jenrry Mejia||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|March 22, 2013||Frank Francisco||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|March 22, 2013||Shaun Marcum||15-Day DL||Neck strain|
|March 22, 2013||Johan Santana||60-Day DL||Left shoulder surgery - out for season|
|March 30, 2013||Cole De Vries||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|March 24, 2013||Tim Wood||15-Day DL||Right rotator cuff strain|
|March 22, 2013||Anthony Swarzak||15-Day DL||Fractured ribs|
|March 22, 2013||Scott Diamond||15-Day DL||Recovery from left elbow surgery|
|March 22, 2013||Anthony Swarzak||15-Day DL||Fractured ribs|
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The only time Matt Harvey wasn't in control on Saturday was when he watched Justin Morneau 's drive approach the right-field foul pole.
"I was blowing it foul, but I knew he hit it pretty well," Harvey said. "If it was going anywhere, it was going out."
Harvey didn't allow a hit until Morneau sent a slider clanking high off the pole with two outs in the seventh inning, and the young pitched led the New York Mets over the Minnesota Twins 4-2 Saturday on another chilly day at Target Field.
Harvey (3-0) pitched past the seventh for the first time in 13 career major league starts, allowing one run and two hits in eight innings with six strikeouts and two walks. His ERA rose from 0.64 to 0.82.
Despite a 35-degree game time temperature, the 24-year-old right-hander pitched with his sleeves rolled up and reached 97 mph, getting stronger in the later innings.
"You see all the great pitchers, when they need it, they can reach back and get it," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "As that game went along, he knew what was going on. Don't let him tell you he didn't know what was going on."
Before Morneau's homer - his first this season - Minnesota's only hard-hit ball came on Eduardo Escobar 's lineout to first base in the third.
"That's a horse. That guy can really wing it," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Former Twins ace Johan Santana pitched the Mets' first no-hitter on June 1 last year against St. Louis, in New York's 8,020th game.
Harvey knew he had a good shot at getting the second one in team history.
"I peaked a couple of times," Harvey said. "I knew that all the guys were making the plays. I knew that I had to keep doing what I was doing, and the guys were going to make plays."
His teammates have been impressed by Harvey, who came up to the majors last July.
"It's like he made his 1,300th start the way he pitched out there," Marlon Byrd said. "To be able to throw his other pitches like he does, hit spots, just all-around amazing."
Making his first start since elbow surgery in December, Twins starter Scott Diamond allowed all four runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings.
New York scored all its run in the fifth, when the Mets got seven straight hits for the first time since Aug. 1, 2001, at Houston. Byrd led off the inning with a 414-foot home run that landed in the second deck - the Mets have homered in all 11 games this season, the only team in the majors to do so.
Collin Cowgill and Daniel Murphy hit run-scoring singles that chased Diamond, and David Wright had an RBI infield hit off Josh Roenicke .
"I was hoping for better," Diamond said. "The way the first four innings went, getting out of the third inning I was pretty pumped by that and thought it was a big step. Just the way the fifth kind of sped up on me, they put a lot of hits together in that inning. You know, a little frustrating."
Bobby Parnell allowed an RBI double to Josh Willingham in the ninth, then held on for his first save. With Willingham on second, Parnell retired Morneau on a flyout and threw a called third strike past Ryan Doumit to end the game.
NOTES: The Twins activated Diamond and optioned RHP Liam Hendriks to Triple-A Rochester. ... Collins said he started Cowgill in center field over Jordany Valdespin because Cowgill had faced Diamond before. Valdespin - 7-for-12 in his last three games - pinch hit in the eighth and struck out. ... Twins pitcher Pedro Hernandez left a relief appearance on Friday with a strained calf. He checked out fine on Saturday and could pitch again in the next couple of days. ... The forecast calls for rain all day Sunday. If the series finale is played, Dillon Gee is scheduled to start for New York. Gee is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA and has never faced the Twins. ... Kevin Correia (0-1, 3.14 ERA) will start for the Twins.