Cory Mazzoni has always been more of a fiend for the fly ball. The Mets' No. 18 prospect
gladly accepts ground-ball outs when they come, but he's more accustomed to seeing baseballs go from bat, into the sky and down toward his outfielders' gloves.
"It's easier to catch," he said, "but sometimes it blows over the fence."
That's exactly what happened when Mazzoni surrendered four homers -- and 13 runs on 19 hits overall -- over 10 innings in his second and third Double-A starts on June 26 and July 1.
In two outings since, including his seven-inning shutout in Binghamton's 2-0 victory over visiting Erie on Friday, the ball has stayed in the yard.
In his second consecutive outing with seven scoreless frames, Mazzoni (3-2) gave up four hits and faced just three batters over the minimum. He struck out one while throwing 54 of 76 pitches for strikes. Eight outs were recorded in the air.
"The main thing was the fastball command," said Mazzoni, who mixed in his changeup and threw his slider for first-pitch strikes. "I was able to work in and out. A lot of hitters were behind in the count."
The 2011 second-round Draft pick began the season at Class A Advanced St. Lucie, where he went 5-1 with a 3.25 ERA -- and gave up only three longballs -- in a dozen starts. Those results prompted his June 20 promotion.
The 22-year-old right-hander won his Double-A debut on June 20, then learned the hard way how easy advanced hitters take to bad pitches.
"The main thing with the two rough starts, I was working behind a lot. And the last two, I was working ahead, working the corners, being more effective," he said. "I'm just trying to improve. I have pitched like I know I can pitch. I feel like I belong."
SeaWolves starter Patrick Cooper (2-3) also went the distance, allowing two runs on two hits -- Juan Lagares and Reese Havens scored on Wilmer Flores' triple -- over six innings.
"He's just a really polished hitter," Mazzoni said of Flores, the Mets' No. 6 prospect. "He can hit the ball to all fields. He's going to be a special player."
The B-Mets also took the nightcap of the doubleheader, 5-4, for their first same-day sweep since July 9, 2011.