NEW YORK -- Matt Harvey took a shutout into the seventh inning, outdueling Stephen Strasburg in a matchup of young power pitching as the New York Mets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 7-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday night.
Harvey (4-0) remained unbeaten by using a combination of dominance and grit. He allowed four hits and struck out seven without a walk while throwing 68 of 105 pitches for strikes.
His most impressive performance was working out of a bases-loaded jam with no outd in the seventh. Harvey would have had at least one out had second baseman Daniel Murphy's throw to shortstop Ruben Tejada not floated away.
That came after Chad Tracy broke up the shutout bid with a soft single to left field. Instead of letting the Nationals continue to get closer, Harvey stopped the damage right there.
He struck out Kurt Suzuki with a slider that was in the high-80s. After retiring pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina on a foul out to catcher John Buck, Harvey finished his outing by getting Denard Span on a soft groundout.
While Harvey was escaping trouble, the crowd was on its feet urging him on with rhythmic clapping and chants of "Harvey, Harvey".
An inning earlier, they were chanting "Harvey's better" as Strasburg gave up home runs to left-handed hitters Ike Davis and Lucas Duda.
Strasburg (1-3) lost to the Mets for the first time in four career starts as he allowed four runs (two earned) and five hits while striking out six. Strasburg threw 111 pitches, but two of them were fastballs that Davis and Duda sent over the fence.
Scott Rice pitched a perfect eighth and the save situation was eliminated when Davis hit a two-run homer and Duda added a solo shot off Drew Storen. Bobby Parnell retired the side in the ninth.
The Mets capitalized on an Ian Desmond error at shortstop and used some fundamentally sound base running to take a 2-0 lead in the first.
Jordany Valdespin reached when Desmond charged in and bobbled his ground ball. After taking third on a base hit by Murphy, Valdespin scored on a wild pitch. Murphy advanced to third on a David Wright fly ball and scored on Buck's single to shallow left field.
Harvey gave up a one-out double to Strasburg in the third but ended the inning with an impressive slider that struck out Jayson Werth.
The Mets had the leadoff man on in each of the first four innings against Strasburg but came up empty each time after the first. They made Strasburg throw 91 pitches through the first five innings.
Harvey had six strikeouts through five and allowed just two other runners besides the hit to Strasburg.
Strasburg was helped by his outfielders on two occasions. Werth made a nice running catch in right field to end the fourth, and Span crashed against the center field wall and robbed Murphy of an extra-base hit.
NOTES: Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman did not start because of a tight left hamstring. Zimmerman left Wednesday's game with cramping and went 0 for 4 on Thursday. He is day to day and could sit out Saturday as well. ... Shortstop Danny Espinosa took batting practice but was held out because of continued swelling and bruising in his right hand and wrist. ... The Mets received good news concerning catching prospect Travis D'Arnaud. D'Arnaud suffered a non-displaced fracture of the first metatarsal in his left foot, but the team said the injury would not require surgery. "He's in a boot," manager Terry Collins said. "They want him to do as little as possible for a while -- let that mending start." ... New York right-hander Shaun Marcum continued his recovery from a nerve issue in his neck and shoulder by throwing 41 pitches in an extended spring training game in Port St. Lucie, Fla. "He pitched very well," Collins said. "He felt great. We've very excited." The Mets said that the next step for Marcum is throwing 80 pitches.