Chad Bettis reached deeper waters Thursday in his fifth minor-league game coming back from cancer. The 28-year-old right-hander certainly is facing a test.
In a Triple-A start for the Albuquerque Isotopes, Bettis pitched into the sixth inning at Round Rock, Texas, before manager Glenallen Hill pulled him after 84 pitches. It was his longest outing to date.
His line was mixed, with eight hits against him for three earned runs (five total). He struck out five batters and walked three. Among his 84 pitches, 55 were strikes.
Bettis will probably start again for the Rockies’ top farm club next week before a likely return to the Rockies rotation.
In his comeback from testicular cancer, which twice set Bettis down this year, once for surgery then again for chemotherapy, Bettis threw for the third time in Triple-A. Against the Texas Rangers’ affiliate, he gave up a first-inning home run to Willie Calhoun, a prospect who was part of the Yu Darvish trade Monday from the Dodgers.
Bettis cruised through the second inning before Round Rock sent eight batters to the plate in the third. Calhoun tagged him for another hit, a run-scoring single that turned into an out at second when he tried to stretch too far.
In three starts at Triple-A, Bettis has a 5.93 ERA over 13 2/3 innings.
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