Phillies: Aaron Nola dominant in second rehab start for IronPigs

Sep 14, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 14, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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Aaron Nola was practically perfect in his second rehab start for the Phillies Triple-A squad

Injuries to his elbow and back have dampened the career of Phillies starter Aaron Nola, but another rehab start brought the righty back to life.

Recovering from a back strain, Nola made his second appearance for Lehigh Valley on Monday night.

In six and a-third innings, the first round pick out of LSU struck out seven batters while allowing two hits and a walk. Nola also picked-off a baserunner in his 79-pitch outing, throwing 54 of his pitches for strikes in the ‘Pigs 1-0 win.

Shortstop J.P. Crawford hit his first home run of the season in the win, while Roman Quinn and Dylan Cozens combined for three hits. Rhys Hoskins, Nick Williams, and Jorge Alfaro were all hitless with multiple strikeouts each.

Lehigh Valley’s bullpen was perfect through 2 and two-third innings, with great efforts from veterans Pat Venditte, Pedro Beato, and Casey Fien.

Monday’s performance comes on the heels of Nola pitching four innings last week, giving up just one run on four hits and three punchouts.

Depending on how his back responds in the next couple of days, the Phillies are likely to bring Nola back into the major league rotation as early as Friday.

May 13, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Nick Pivetta (43) throws a pitch against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
May 13, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Nick Pivetta (43) throws a pitch against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

Nick Pivetta, who’s currently scheduled to start on Friday against Texas, took Nola’s spot in late-April, will likely be returned to Triple-A.

Acquired from the Nationals in exchange for closer Jonathan Papelbon, Pivetta continues to seek his first major league win should he start his fourth game of the year this week. He’s struck out 16 batters over 14.2 innings after dealing with rookie jitters in his first start.

Zach Eflin, who assumed Clay Buchholz’s spot in the rotation, will likely remain over Pivetta.

Phillies fans should still have hope for Pivetta despite the rocky start to his career. He flashed signs of improvement in recent starts, and barring more injuries, will get an opportunity to lead the IronPigs rotation.

Next: Phillies Farm Report: IronPigs Sizzling

Jerad Eickhoff will get the start for Philadelphia when they face his former team, the Rangers, in Arlington Tuesday evening.

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