Mets 7, Astros 7

Matt Harvey made 10 impressive starts as a rookie last season

and he has a spot in the Mets’ rotation this year.

The 23-year-old right-hander is still not satisfied.

Harvey worked two innings in his spring debut for New York,

giving up two hits including a home run by former Mets outfielder

Fernando Martinez, and the Houston Astros scored late in a 7-7 tie

Sunday.

”I’m not guaranteed anything,” Harvey said. ”Until I get five

or six years in and sign a decent contract, then I can relax a

little more. I’m intent on coming to spring training and winning a

job and letting everybody know I belong.”

Harvey’s 2.73 ERA was the fourth-best for a Mets rookie and he

struck out 70 in 59 1-3 innings. He struck out three Sunday while

trying out some new things in February.

”It is nice knowing that I’ll be heading up north hopefully. I

can work on this stuff a lot more, whether it’s different counts,

different changeups, different sliders that I wouldn’t normally

throw during the season, and would like to throw during the

season,” he said. ”Now is the time to work on it. I do realize

that.”

Martinez’s home run was one of four in a game in which the

Astros came back from a 6-1 deficit.

George Springer drove in the tying run in the ninth but the game

was called because the Mets’ split squad ran out of pitchers. Much

of their team remained in Port St. Lucie to play the University of

Michigan.

Jamie Hoffmann homered off Houston starter Bud Norris for the

game’s first run, and Jordany Valdespin’s two-run homer put the

Mets up, 3-1, in the third inning.

After they stretched it to 6-1 with the help of Josh Satin’s

two-run double, a two-run homer by Jason Castro sparked the Astros’

comeback and impressed new manager Bo Porter.

”I think we’re now starting to see the Castro we all thought we

were getting when he got here,” Porter said.

The Astros catcher is coming back from a major knee injury in

2011 and lesser injuries last year.

”The first at-bat (a groundout) was my first of the spring and

I put a lot of intensity into it,” Castro said. ”The second one I

just tried to relax and it helped me free up my hands a little

bit.”

”I’m just trying to go through the process and the results will

come, but for me, especially this early, it’s about getting that

feeling back and working on that timing,” Castro added. ”It’s a

good place to start from.”

Norris, a candidate for Houston’s opening-day assignment, threw

no breaking balls in his two innings and was not upset by Hoffman’s

home run.

”It was decent pitch, a two-seamer down in,” he said. ”He put

a really good swing on it. He’s seen me a few times over the

years.”

Wilfredo Tovar’s RBI single regained a 7-6 lead for the Mets in

the eighth, but the Astros tied it in the ninth on infield hits by

Jake Elmore, Nate Freiman and George Springer.

NOTES: Lucas Duda struck out in all four of his at bats as the

Mets’ DH. … Satin played the whole game at first base for the

Mets, scored twice and had two doubles. … The Mets beat Michigan,

5-2. … Catcher Max Stassi will see a specialist about what the

Astros suspect might be a sports hernia.