Dellin Betances fans 8 in Double-A debut
TRENTON — Dellin Betances may not have made it through fifth inning of his Double-A debut last night against New Hampshire at Waterfront Park, but if his last seven outs are any kind of barometer, the Thunder just may be grooming another ace.
One night after second-place New Hampshire worked over fellow prospect Manny Banuelos for six runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings, Betances struck out seven of the last nine batters he faced and gave up just two hits in last night’s 10-5, extra-inning loss to the Fisher Cats in front of just 4,426.
Promoted to Trenton with Banuelos Monday after D.J. Mitchell and Hector Noesi, who combined for 19 wins, were sent up to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Yankees’ eighth-round pick in the 2006 draft struck out eight with two walks.
Betances, 22, worked through a rocky first inning that began with a walk to Darin Mastroianni after he had the New Hampshire center fielder down in the count 0-2. Mastroianni reached third base on the first of two Betances throwing errors and scored on what went down as a fielder’s choice, but was nothing more than a wild pitch on a swinging third strike by Eric Thames.
One year removed from elbow ligament reinforcement surgery, the Brooklyn-born Betances yielded a towering solo home run to Matt Liuzza in the third inning, but he kept the Thunder in the game, consistently hit between 93-95 on radar and threw 50 of his 76 pitches for strikes.
J.B. Cox was followed into the game by Yankees’ reliever Alfredo Aceves, whose third and perhaps final injury rehab appearance at Double-A was his worst.
Aceves, on the 60-day disabled list after suffering a bulging disk in his back May 9, gave up six hits and three earned runs in 1 1/3 innings and was on the hook for the loss until a three-run rally capped by Austin Romine’s run-scoring single in the eighth tied the game at 5-5.
Wilkins Arias was horrid in the 11th after a flawless 10th inning, allowing five runs on four hits.
The Thunder loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, but Justin Christian struck out and Austin Krum lined out to center field and it was on to extra frames.
Aceves tentatively is scheduled to throw twice more at Triple-A, as the Yankees appear to be killing time with him until rosters expand Sept. 1.
Trenton managed just two hits against New Hampshire right-hander Zach Stewart after failing to get anyone past first base on two hits against top Toronto Blue Jays prospect Kyle Drabek in Monday’s loss.
In 11 games this season against Drabek, Stewart and Randy Boone, the three right-handers New Hampshire will throw this week, Trenton is hitting under .220.
The Thunder are a woeful 6-16 against New Hampshire, which includes a 2-10 mark at home. The division champion will host the first two games of the Eastern League divisional series beginning Sept. 8.
NOTES: Former first-round draft pick John Van Benschoten was sent back to the Thunder yesterday and will be added to the bullpen. Van Benschoten is a combined 6-2 with a 3.50 (43 2/3 innings) at every stop in the Yankees’ minor league chain, including Trenton, Tampa, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and the Gulf Coast League … Lost in the commotion of the Banuelos and Betances promotions was Adam Warren being named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week after his 15 strikeouts Aug. 18 against Bowie broke the franchise record. Warren, who will celebrate his 23rd birthday today when he starts the series finale against the Fisher Cats, joins Hector Noesi and Lance Pendleton as Thunder pitchers to win the award this season.