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Feeling under the weather, Harvey grinds out start

NEW YORK -- At about 7:30 on Sunday morning, hours before he was scheduled to make his third start of the season, Matt Harvey texted a Mets trainer to inform the team that he was sick.

He had not been sleeping well, could barely swallow and his body was feeling fatigued. Harvey had been battling this illness for a few days, but he woke up hours before he was set to make his third start of the year feeling even worse.

The Mets even considered skipping his turn in the rotation, but Harvey showed up to the park and told them he wanted to pitch.

"The last thing I want to do," he said, "is give up a start."

Harvey gave up more than a full season's worth of starts after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and he has been itching to get back on the mound with each opportunity. So he took some antibiotics when he arrived at Citi Field and turned in a solid outing.

Harvey allowed four runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts, collected his first hit since June 23, 2013 and pitched into the seventh inning for the first time this season in the Mets' 7-6 victory against the Marlins. He was removed from the game after surrendering three straight singles to begin the seventh, and later admitted that he ran out of energy because of the illness.

"It was a struggle, but next time I need to do a better job," Harvey said.

In a way, Sunday's start represented a return to normalcy for Harvey after finally crossing off a plethora of firsts. He has made his first Spring Training start, first regular-season start and first home start and proved he is healthy after each.

Now Harvey can get into the routine of the season, at least manager Terry Collins hopes so.

"They can't all be the main event," he said.

Unfortunately for the Mets, by the end of the day, Harvey turned out not to be. They lost two key players -- catcher Travis d'Arnaud and left-hander Jerry Blevins -- to the disabled list for what will almost certainly be an extended period of time.

"The last thing you want is something like that to happen," Harvey said. "As a team, we have to pick up with what we have."

Jamal Collier is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.
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