Alex Rodriguez may have left the team, but Dellin Betances showed Thursday that there's still plenty of star power in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yankees' Top 3 prospect struck out eight batters while allowing three runs over six innings in his Triple-A debut Thursday. It was his sixth quality start of the season, but Scranton/Wilkes-Barre fell to Durham, 5-1.
Betances allowed seven hits, but did not walk a batter -- only the third time this year he hasn't issued a base on balls. Over his last three starts, the 23-year-old righty has struck out 20 while walking just two.
After a perfect first inning, Betances ran into trouble in the second when Russ Canzler hit a one-out single and Daniel Mayora roped a double two batters later. Nevin Ashley followed with a line-drive single to right, plating the Bulls' first two runs of the game before Betances generated an inning-ending groundout off the bat of Ray Olmedo.
Betances surrendered a leadoff homer in the third to Tim Beckham, the first overall pick in 2008, but soon settled down. He struck out the final two batters of the frame and allowed only three baserunners -- one who reached on a fielding error by shortstop Luis Nunez -- over his final three innings.
An eighth-round selection in 2006, Betances enjoyed a breakout campaign last year when he posted a 2.11 ERA across two levels. The 6-foot-8 native of New York went 4-6 with a 3.42 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 105 1/3 innings for Double-A Trenton before earning a promotion to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Opposing Betances on Thursday was No. 5 Rays prospect Alex Torres, who struck out seven over seven shutout innings en route to his ninth win of the year. The 23-year-old left-hander has gone 5-1 with a 2.17 ERA over his last 10 starts.