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NYM@PHI: Harvey strikes out nine over seven innings

While temperatures may be heating up around the country, the same can't be said for the weather that is hitting the Twin Cities.

When Mets right-hander Matt Harvey and Twins left-hander Scott Diamond take the hill on Saturday afternoon at Target Field, temperatures will be around 40 degrees with snow expected later in the evening.

"We're lucky we're even able to play with all the weather that has come down on it," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Target Field. "So you tip your hat to the grounds crew. When they built it, they built it right."

Harvey is hoping the drop in temperature won't cool off his hot start to the season. The right-hander has been brilliant in his first two starts for the Mets, going 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA. In 14 innings so far this season, he's allowed just four hits and tallied 19 strikeouts.

His last time out against the Phillies, the right-hander allowed just one run in seven innings of work. He also struck out nine and walked only two batters.

Meanwhile, Diamond will make his season debut for the Twins after recovering from left elbow surgery.

Diamond threw 83 pitches in his last rehab start for Class A Fort Myers on Sunday, surrendering four runs on six hits over five innings. He also threw a side session on Wednesday in Fort Myers with no complications.

"I'm really excited to be back," Diamond said. "Just being back in the locker room and seeing the guys again, I kinda missed them. So it's good to be back."

He'll now look to flash some of the same form he had during the 2012 season, which saw him post a 12-9 record and 3.54 ERA in 173 innings pitched, which was a team-high.

"He led by example," Gardenhire said. "Scotty studies the game and prepares very well for the opposing team. He got us deep into games and won his fair share of them. He stepped up and did a real nice job for us. You have to be able to work both sides of the plate and Scotty does that."

Mets: Duda fills designated hitter role
• Manager Terry Collins said before Friday's Interleague matchup against the Twins that he plans on rotating players at designated hitter during the three-game series.

Outfielder Lucas Duda, who is coming off a two-home run game in New York's 7-3 loss to Philadelphia Wednesday, filled the opening on Friday against Twins right-handed starter Vance Worley.

Collins hinted at the likelihood of infielder Justin Turner taking on the DH responsibilities Saturday in the second game of the series.

"Our team isn't really built for the DH," Collins said. "Our guys, we play both sides of the ball, so it's a little different for us to have a DH, but we'll be fine."

Twins: De Vries to start throwing program on Saturday
• Right-hander Cole De Vries, who is on the disabled list with a right forearm strain, said he's scheduled to begin his throwing program on Saturday.

De Vries last threw a week ago on Friday in a bullpen session in Baltimore, but felt discomfort in his forearm and was ultimately placed on the disabled list before throwing a pitch this season.

"It's feeling good right now," De Vries said. "The tentative plan is to play catch tomorrow and slowly get down that path. I have no idea how long they'll want the throwing program to be. But the good news is, it shouldn't take long to ramp it up because it's only been a week."

Worth Noting
• The Twins have an all-time record of 7-6 against the Mets.

• After tallying three hits on Wednesday against the Phillies, center fielder Jordany Valdespin was slotted into the leadoff position in the Mets' lineup Friday for the second straight game. He finished the game going 2-for-5 with an RBI.

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