Brayan Bello put together a career outing Wednesday night, and it wasn’t lost on Red Sox manager Alex Cora.
The offense only mustered two runs for Boston in an extra-innings loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park, as Bello gave up two in his five innings of action. The 23-year-old struck out seven batters, walked one and gave up six hits in his first game since coming off the injured list.
“He was excellent,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “That was good stuff. We felt in Houston he was turning the corner — talking to other starters and understanding how it works here. He can’t just stay on one side of the plate. You have to mix it up. From from pitch one, that was electric — weak contact, swing and misses, four-seamers up, changeup. He was really good.”
Bello had a quick exit in his outing against the Houston Astros. The right-hander has worked his way back and hit career benchmarks Wednesday. Bello’s five innings pitched and seven strikeouts were career highs, and his one walk was the fewest in any of his four starts, according to Raleigh Clark of Red Sox media relations.
“He’s learning. He’s doing a good job,” Cora told reporters. “That’s a tough lineup, and it was two runs, five innings. I know he got tough at the end, but a lot of weak contact, a lot of ground balls. He’s done an outstanding job preparing. He’s learning, a lot of communication. He’s asking a lot of questions, which is great, and the guys have embraced him.”
Bello is Boston’s No. 1 pitching prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, and he’s now getting a chance in the majors in 2022. Cora applauded the right-hander’s transition.
“We were talking about when I took him out, he hasn’t pitched five innings in a while, before we called him up,” Cora told reporters. “And he wanted more, of course. I love that, and I told him, ‘You haven’t gone five in like two months or three months.’ And he smiled. I told him, ‘A lot different than the first one against them, right?’ … A lot of stuff happened the first inning, but then he pitched well the rest of the game. He’s a good one, you can tell. Slowly but surely he’s becoming a guy, and we’re very happy. He’s going to have some bumps along the road, of course, but I think he understands what it takes to pitch at this level.”
Despite the loss, Bello has shown he is deserving of another starting nod in the future as the young right-hander continues to find his groove in the majors.