Harvey gets pitch count up in Minors game

Righty throws 71 pitches in 3 1/3 innings against Cards' Triple-A team

Harvey gets pitch count up in Minors game

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Matt Harvey still got his work in despite Saturday afternoon's rainout.

The Mets' Opening Night starter pitched in a Minor League game Saturday morning before the big club's contest against the Nationals in Viera, Fla., was cancelled due to rain. The game against the Nationals won't be made up.

Harvey accomplished his goal of increasing his workload, throwing 71 pitches in 3 1/3 innings.

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"The biggest thing was just getting our pitch count up," Harvey said. "I think what we're trying to accomplish is getting the pitch count, the workload up a little bit, and that was the biggest thing."

And it was the only thing that concerned Harvey who, while dominant at times and dealing with less-than-stellar defense, was hit hard by the Cardinals' Triple-A team.

Harvey pumped for Opening Night

The Cardinals squared up Harvey in the fourth inning. After he opened with a strikeout, Harvey allowed five consecutive hits -- four for extra bases -- before the inning was called after he reached his allotted pitch total.

When asked if he was concerned about it, Harvey responded flatly: "No."

He allowed six runs (five earned) on seven hits, striking out five and walking none.

"Today was just trying to get the pitch count up," said Harvey, adding that he worked on all four of his pitches. "With the weather, we just wanted to get the work in and got the pitches that we need to increase next week's workload."

Up next: The Mets host the Red Sox at 1:10 p.m. ET on Sunday at Tradition Field as right-hander Noah Syndergaard makes his third Grapefruit League start. Third baseman David Wright is expected to make his second Grapefruit League start after debuting Friday. The game can be seen live on MLB.TV.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.