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Rays, Smyly 'encouraged' by rehab start

Lefty throws 51 pitches over 2 1/3 innings in first outing for Triple-A Durham

ST. PETERSBURG -- Left-handed pitcher Drew Smyly made his first rehab start at Triple-A Durham on Sunday as he tries to return to the Rays rotation after landing on the disabled list May 9 with a torn labrum.

On paper, Smyly's return to the mound did not show much promise, as he allowed four runs on three hits and two walks while striking out three over 2 1/3 innings. For Tampa Bay, though, the 26-year-old's 51 pitches were encouraging.

"The velocity was really good," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "All the reports were very good. We're not factoring in the actual results too much."

There still is no timetable for when Smyly could pitch again in the Majors, but he will continue to make rehab starts every fifth day.

"I'm very encouraged by [the rehab start]," Smyly said. "It went as good as I could have hoped for. I responded well. I feel good today.

"Last night, my arm felt great. I was letting it go pretty good. Now you just have to keep believing that you're going to recover fine and build my strength up and get back to a starter's workload."

Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for
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