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Steven Matz bested by Barry Zito in battle of lefthanders

Binghamton Mets starting pitcher and former Mets number

Binghamton Mets starting pitcher and former Mets number one draft pick, Long Island native, Steven Matz, started the championship clinching game against Richmond Flying Squirrels at NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton. Credit: Bruce Adler

It was an interesting contrast.

Steven Matz, the hard-throwing Long Island product who holds the status of top Mets prospect, is 24 years old and vying for his shot at the majors.

Barry Zito, the soft-tossing 2002 American League Cy Young Award winner, is 37 and looking for one last shot in MLB with the A's.

The two lefthanders were both very good during Nashville's 1-0 win over Mets Triple-A affiliate Las Vegas on Sunday, but it was Zito who came out on top.

Zito (3-4, 4.12 ERA) struck out six in eight scoreless innings, allowing a pair of singles and three walks to earn the win and run his scoreless innings streak to 14. Matz (6-3, 1.98 ERA) struck out two in five innings, allowing four hits, one run and two walks.

Leftfielder Jayce Boyd and centerfielder Cory Vaughn had the only hits for the 51s (29-22, 1st place in Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern).

Matz threw 50 of his 79 pitches for strikes. It was the second straight outing where he threw fewer than 80 pitches, after averaging 93 pitches in his first nine starts this season. Las Vegas manager Frank Viola said Matz is on an innings count, according to Shea Dugout. His two strikeouts were the fewest he's had in a game this season.

After getting the first two batters of the game to ground out, Matz allowed a walk to Ryan Roberts and an RBI double to Nate Freiman. A passed ball moved Freiman to third, but Matz got Kent Matthes to ground out to end the inning.

Matz didn't permit a runner past second base during his four other innings.

Elsewhere in the minors


(26-24, 4th place in Eastern League Eastern, 5.5 games back)

Rehabbing reliever Vic Black earned a hold with a scoreless eighth inning as the Mets beat Altoona, 5-3. Black, working his way back from a shoulder and neck injury, allowed a walk and a hit and struck out one. First baseman Aderlin Rodriguez was 3-for-4 with a pair of solo home runs.


(25-25, 2nd place is Florida State League South, 8 games back)

First baseman Matt Oberste was 4-for-5 with two doubles, designated hitter Dominic Smith went 3-for-5 with a double and shortstop Amed Rosario had a single, a triple and a stolen base as the Mets beat Fort Myers, 10-4.


(24-26, T-3rd place in South Atlantic League Southern, 6 games back)

First baseman Jon Leroux was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk and centerfielder Patrick Biondi went 2-for-4 with a triple, but the Sand Gnats fell to Charleston, 9-3.


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