Syndergaard racks up K's in relief of Harvey vs. Fish

Prospect fans five in 2 2/3 scoreless frames; ace allows pair of runs, works out of trouble

Syndergaard racks up K's in relief of Harvey vs. Fish

JUPITER, Fla. -- The afternoon featured a pitching matchup of Mets ace Matt Harvey and projected Marlins Opening Day starter Henderson Alvarez. But the game was decided by bench players battling for roster spots.

Don Kelly had a two-run single off Scott Rice that scored three due to an error, and Scott Sizemore added an RBI single off Dillon Gee that lifted Miami to a 7-4 win on Wednesday at Roger Dean Stadium. The Marlins rallied from two runs down in the seventh.

Until the late innings, the pitching was the story. Harvey threw 49 pitches in 2 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with two strikeouts. Mets prized prospect Noah Syndergaard was impressive, striking out five while allowing one hit in 2 2/3 innings. The right-hander also threw 49 pitches.

Alvarez, an All-Star for Miami last year, rebounded from a shaky two-run first inning and was solid over three frames.

Harvey, recovering from Tommy John surgery, avoided major damage in the second inning, getting Derek Dietrich to hit a soft liner with the bases loaded that resulted in a double play, as Jarrod Saltalamacchia took off from first. Harvey's fastball was clocked mostly in the 93-96 mph range -- topping out at 98 -- and his changeup was at 89 mph.

Alvarez, throwing between 91-94 mph, got into a jam in the first inning, allowing back-to-back RBI doubles to Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Ruben Tejada. But in the second and third innings, the Miami All-Star right-hander breezed through the Mets, retiring six of seven.

Ichiro Suzuki had an RBI single for Miami off Harvey in the second inning, and Giancarlo Stanton blasted a run-scoring double that tied the game in the third.

New York claimed the lead in the fourth inning off Brad Hand. Tejada led off with a double, and he scored on what could have been an inning-ending double-play ball. But on Dilson Herrera's grounder to short, Reid Brignac made a wide throw that pulled second baseman Dee Gordon off the bag.

Up next for Mets: National League Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom will return to the mound Thursday (1:10 p.m. ET, MLB.TV) against the Nationals at Tradition Field. The Mets will also receive their second look at left-handed pitching prospect Steven Matz, who will begin this season as a starter at Triple-A Las Vegas. Matz is not a bullpen candidate at this time, even if lefty specialist Josh Edgin misses time with an elbow injury.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.