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Matt Harvey hits first career home run in Mets' win over D-backs

New York Mets' Matt Harvey, right, celebrates with

New York Mets' Matt Harvey, right, celebrates with teammate Eric Campbell after hitting a two-run home run scoring Campbell during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Saturday, July 11, 2015, at Citi Field. Credit: AP / Bill Kostroun

Jacob deGrom is an All-Star, Noah Syndergaard is having one of the best rookie seasons in the majors and the Mets needed a whole news conference to announce Steven Matz's injury Friday.

When it comes to the Mets' young arms, it almost seems as if Matt Harvey -- the same Matt Harvey who is likened to Batman, the one who has the entire day dedicated to him when he takes the mound -- somehow has drifted to the background.

Matt Harvey does not do background.

Harvey, lacking his best stuff, gritted his way through seven innings of five-hit ball Saturday and, with the Mets down by a run in the fifth, proved that his near-mythical competitiveness is not limited to the mound.

Harvey launched Patrick Corbin's first-pitch fastball more than 370 feet to leftfield for a two-out, two-run homer that gave the Mets the lead for good in their 4-2 win over the Diamondbacks at Citi Field. It was his first major-league home run, and he's the first Mets pitcher since Rick Reed in 1997 to erase a deficit with a homer.

He looked vulnerable at various junctures in his previous two starts, but it appears Harvey as the Dark Knight has returned.

"This is exactly what we talk about with him," Terry Collins said. "This guy competes. It's unbelievable."

Harvey (8-6, 3.07), who didn't allow a first-inning hit in his previous four starts, allowed a two-run homer on his first pitch to the second batter of the game, David Peralta.

And for a man who so often makes it look easy, Harvey made a few of his next six scoreless innings look downright laborious. He walked four, threw 109 pitches, and struggled with command in the early innings.

"I wanted to do everything I could to keep the team within striking distance," he said. "I really just had to buckle down and try to pound the zone as much as possible. I obviously wasn't happy with what I did . . . I had to put up zeros."

"He came out of the first inning giving up a fast two runs," Collins said, "and his makeup is, 'That's it. That's all they're getting. If we score, we're going to win the game.' "

Early in the game, Harvey and Corbin looked to be on opposite trajectories, and not in a way that benefited the Mets.

In his second start since coming back from Tommy John surgery, Corbin struck out the side in the second and made it four straight when he got Eric Campbell leading off the third. He had a one-hitter until the fifth, when Lucas Duda led off with his second homer in two games.

Two outs later, Campbell walked to set the scene for Harvey. His home run -- briefly in question and reviewed for possible fan interference -- gave the Mets a 3-2 lead and led to booming "Har-vey! Har-vey!" chants throughout the stadium.

Ruben Tejada homered in the sixth to knock out Corbin.

Having won six of eight, the Mets are only two games out of first place in the NL East.

Harvey joins Syndergaard as one of two Mets pitchers to homer this season. "The big thing going around now is that we [the pitchers] can rake, and I wasn't doing my job well," Harvey said. "I think that might've helped my cause a little bit."

Far be it for him to stay in the background.

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