Red Sox starting pitcher Brayan Bello allows three runs in rehab start with Sea Dogs

May 7—Brayan Bello didn't get the results he wanted in his rehab start at Hadlock Field on Tuesday night. The right-hander threw 2 2/3 innings for the Portland Sea Dogs against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, allowing three runs, two earned, with three hits, two walks, and five strikeouts. But as he eyes a return to the Boston Red Sox rotation after going on the injured list April 24 with right lat tightness, Bello pitched pain free, and feels ready to go for the Red Sox on Sunday against the Washington Nationals.

"Obviously, I didn't have the command I had at the start of the year, but I feel really good. I feel really happy, and overall I'll be ready to go on Sunday when I'm supposed to go," Bello said through translator Justin Frometa, a development coach with the Sea Dogs.

Bello threw 52 pitches, 32 for the strikes. In the first inning, he allowed a leadoff double to Matt Rudick, then an RBI double off the Maine Monster to JT Schwartz with two outs. In the second inning, Bello gave up a solo home run over the left-field wall to Brandon McIlwain and an RBI single to Rhylan Thomas after an error by shortstop Marcelo Mayer extended the inning.

Bello said he felt none of the pain that triggered his stint on the IL. His sinker topped out at 97 miles per hour, and he relied heavily on his changeup. He struck out three of the last four batters he faced. Bello didn't get the three shutout innings he wanted, but his pitching mechanics felt good and he left the game on a strong note.

"I've been throwing that (velocity) all year, pretty much, and I tried to make sure I felt good. Everything felt good, so I feel great," Bello said. "(The changeup's) my second-best pitch, so I've got to work on it, right? I've got to throw it while I'm here, so when I get back up to Fenway it gives me the results I'm looking for."

Boston's Opening Day starter, Bello was 3-1, with a 3.04 earned run average, in five starts before his injury. In his last start, April 19 at Pittsburgh, Bello allowed one hit and two walks in six innings in an 8-1 win.

Bello pitched in 22 games with Portland in the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Tuesday's rehab appearance at Hadlock came nearly two years to the day after Bello's highlight with the Sea Dogs, a seven-inning no hitter in Game 2 of a doubleheader against Reading on May 5, 2022. Bello said he felt his best time in the minor leagues was when he played for the Sea Dogs, and taking the mound at Hadlock Field felt like coming home. Current Sea Dogs starter Wikelman Gonzalez often sends texts messages to Bello, and he's happy to offer advice, like older players helped him.

"Any way I can help them to reach their goals, and when they get there I'll be there to help them," Bello said.

Entering Tuesday's game at Atlanta, the Red Sox had the best team ERA in the majors, 2.61, in large part due to the strength of the starting rotation. Bello said he's excited to rejoin the group.

"I'm extremely excited and happy about the opportunity to go back out there. Watching those guys pitch, I'm extremely happy for them," Bello said. "I can't wait to go out there and be with those guys, because ultimately they're performing, and I want to do my best to help the team win."

Copy the Story Link