Brayan Bello says ready to return to Red Sox

PORTLAND, Maine — Red Sox right-hander Brayan Bello declared himself ready to return to the big leagues after a 52-pitch, 2⅔ inning rehab start with Double A Portland against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies on Tuesday.

Bello (3-1 with a 3.04 ERA in 26⅔ innings this year) was pitching in a game for the first time since April 19. Five days later, he landed on the injured list with a right side strain.

Despite unspectacular results Tuesday, Bello said he no longer feels pain and has recovered from his injury. He hit a solo homer on a cement mixer slider, plus a pair of doubles, part of a final three-run line (two earned) on four hits and two walks.

But while his fastball and slider command were imprecise, he exhibited excellent velocity (95-97 mph) — a reassuring sign for his health — and got several swings and misses against his changeup.

“I feel really good. I feel good physically with the lat,” Bello said via translator Justin Frometa, Portland’s developmental coach. “I feel good with the terrain, the arsenal and the weapons. I felt really good with the changeup, slider and sinker. For the most part, I feel like I’m in a really good place.

“Obviously I didn’t have the command that I had at the beginning of the year, but I feel really good, really happy, and overall I’ll be ready to go (at Fenway against the Nationals) Sunday.”

The Sox are 9-6 since Bello landed on the injured list, and the rotation — despite the absence of Bello, Lucas Giolito, Nick Pivetta and Garrett Whitlock — has been a strength. Bello said he was excited about both the work accomplished in his absence and the prospect of resuming his contributions to the rotation.

“I’m extremely excited and happy for the opportunity to go back,” said Bello, who treated his minor league teammates to a postgame smorgasbord of Venezuelan food and took time to sign footballs for each of them. “I’m super excited and ready to go.”

Alex Speier can be contacted at [email protected]. follow him @alexspeier.