It was a welcome return to the Florida State League for Josh Prevost.
The New York Mets right-hander returned to St. Lucie on Friday after making a brief appearance in Double-A last week and delivered a one-hitter in the Mets' 2-0 win over the Flying Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.
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"Me and the catcher Dan Rizzie were on the same page from pitch one to pitch 97," said Prevost. "It was just getting ahead of hitters and putting them away."
The 26-year-old sat down all but one, surrendering a leadoff single to Lakeland's Cam Gibson on a liner to left field in the bottom of the first inning. Gibson was caught stealing two batters later.
Prevost (5-1) didn't issue any walks and struck out nine as he faced the minimum. He needed just 97 pitches, 72 of them strikes, to cruise to completion.
"It was dominance," St. Lucie skipper Chad Kreuter said. "He was able to command his fastball and his slider. He threw it at two different speeds, one was slowing it down a bit as a get-me-over pitch, then he had a wipeout pitch he could get strikeouts with and swings-and-misses, it was a little bit of a harder one."
Prevost quickly got into a groove and it was only in the later innings that he noticed he hadn't pitched out of the stretch since the first frame.
"There wasn't much of an adjustment," he said. "I just kept trying to attack hitters and trust my catcher. He's a great play caller back there and I trust pretty much every pitch that he puts down."
It marked the New Jersey native's first career complete game.
"Getting up and sitting down nine times is different than the usual six or seven," Prevost said. "It felt like a longer night, but the innings were pretty quick. The defense behind me made all the plays. It wasn't too strenuous, it was a fun ride."
The Seton Hall alum sports a 3.50 ERA in 63 innings with St. Lucie after going 4-8 with a 4.26 ERA over 76 frames in 2016 for the club. He missed all of 2017 following Tommy John surgery.
"Last year was pretty rough," Prevost said. "Rehab is not where you want to be. But it was needed. My first month here was kind of shaky, I didn't have a lot of confidence. I was hoping for good results instead of trusting my stuff would get results. Once May hit, I made a mental adjustment. I wanted to attack hitters and giving it all I had. Instead of wishing for good results, I knew I would get those results if I just trusted my catcher and myself with my stuff."
He made one start for Double-A Binghamton on June 2, allowing five runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 frames against New Hampshire.
"The lineup I pitched against is very talented," Prevost said. "I had the same approach all year long attacking hitters. Tonight, I just executed a little better than I did in Double-A."
Kreuter noticed that one spot start in the Eastern League made a difference, even though he had begun to improve with St. Lucie before that.
"[St. Lucie pitching coach] Marc Valdes had worked with him on making a few adjustments before he was called up," he said. "Finishing his delivery all the way, using his big 6-foot-8 frame to get full extension and a follow-through to the plate. I know they worked on that three starts previous to his Double-A callup and he's gotten a little bit better. There's extra life on his fastball, and it's starting to click for him."
Top Mets prospect Andres Gimenez lofted a sacrifice fly and Michael Paez singled in a run in the sixth to account for the offense.