VIERA, Fla. -- Bryce Harper hit a three-run home run Wednesday in the first inning against Matt Harvey.
Harvey vs. Harper is a matchup that should be thrilling NL East fans for a long, long time. On Wednesday, Harper got the better of the Mets righthander and the Nationals went on to an 8-5 win at Space Coast Stadium.
"He's an All-Star," Harvey said. "He's Bryce Harper. Obviously, you've got to lock in and I made a bad pitch to him. But I learned from it and moving on from there, it's something I'll remember going into the season."
Harvey walked the first batter and, after an error at third base by Justin Turner, served up the long ball to Harper. But Harvey settled in after that and finished his four-inning stint having allowed just those three runs, two of which were earned. He allowed three hits, walked one and struck out six.
Harvey gave up a nearly 500-foot home run to Jayson Werth in this stadium last spring. "I don't know if it's landed yet," he said.
Jordany Valdespin was originally on the travel roster, but was told to take the day off after he was hit in the groin by a Justin Verlander fastball on Monday. Valdespin said he felt "fine" and will wear a protective cup from now on.
"I never use a cup, but I've got to because I'm really scared of the ball hitting me," he said.
The Mets have mild interest in outfielder Brennan Boesch, who was released by Detroit . . . Bobby Parnell took the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) in the seventh inning . . . Collin Cowgill hit his second home run . . . Marlon Byrd had two hits and is batting .370.