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Second rehab start another positive step for Billingsley

Veteran goes five scoreless at Triple-A; could be in Phillies' rotation by early May

NEW YORK -- Phillies right-hander Chad Billingsley threw five scoreless innings Wednesday in his second rehab start with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He allowed two hits, two walks and struck out three.

The veteran starter threw 73 pitches (44 strikes), and Billingsley said the plan is to make three more rehab starts, which would allow him to join the Phillies' rotation as early as the first week of May.

"I felt pretty good," Billingsley said in a transcript provided by the IronPigs. "I didn't feel like I had my best stuff, but I was able to go out there and execute some pitches to get some ground balls and get out of a jam early.

"It's been a long road, but I'm excited and I'll keep working. The strength is there, my arm feels good. I talked to my doctor who performed the [2014] surgery [on my right elbow], and he said if I can get through a month and a half of pitching in games with no pain, I'll be in the clear."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter.
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