After impressing as a rookie, Matt Harvey wants to add a more effective curveball to his arsenal of pitches this season.
Harvey struck out six over 5 1-3 innings of two-run ball as the New York Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 Monday. He allowed six hits and has a 2.95 ERA in four spring-training starts.
"I was really happy about my curveball," Harvey said. "Unfortunately, I gave up too many hits in my mind, but overall I'm healthy and feeling good. The biggest thing from last year was not having my curveball. I threw a lot of good ones 0-0 (today) and was able to throw it in the dirt when I needed to. That's a big pitch for me. Having that back is definitely a big plus for me."
The 23-year-old right-hander has a 2.95 ERA in four starts during spring training after going 3-5 with a 2.73 over 10 starts during the second half of last season.
Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook allowed two runs and three hits in six innings, giving up Lucas Duda's two-run homer in the fourth.
"I would say absolutely that was his best stuff," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "I thought he really used his offspeed pitch, especially that curveball very well. He used it early in the count, actually he slowed it down a little bit and it was nice to see. He had good life on his sinker and obviously the ground balls are always a pretty good indicator that he's where he needs to be."
Westbrook, projected as the Cardinals' No. 4 starter, has a 3.86 ERA in four starts. He got 12 of 18 outs against the Mets on grounders.
"That's probably the best I've done," Westbrook said. "All my pitches were working. I had a really good sinker today and got a lot of ground balls. It's been a while since I've gotten them. The first three outings have been a little erratic in that sense, but today was a lot better."
Matt Adams hit an RBI double in the bottom half of the fourth and scored on a single by prospect Oscar Taveras, who went 2 for 4 and threw out a runner at third base from right field.
New York's Travis d'Arnuad went 2 for 3 and increased his batting average to .345. He doubled off Marc Rzepczynski leading off the seventh and scored on Andrew Brown's single.
NOTES: Cardinals RHP Chris Carpenter was at training camp and said his career mau be over due to numbing and tingling sensations in his pitching hand, arm and shoulder. ... The Mets bullpen allowed three hits in 3 1-3 scoreless innings. RHPs LaTroy Hawkins, Scott Atchison and Bobby Parnell each pitched a one-hit inning. ... RHPs Edward Mujica and Jason Motte, who both have struggled, pitched scoreless innings for the Cardinals.