Pittsburgh Pirates’ Jameson Taillon has strong minor league rehab start

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Jameson Taillon gave up one unearned run and three hits over five innings for Triple-A Indianapolis as the young Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander made another step Friday night toward returning to the majors since testicular cancer surgery.

Taillon struck out six with no walks in his second rehab outing in the minors.

“I felt great tonight, and I feel like I’m ready for a return already,” Taillon said.

He struck out six in three scoreless innings in his first rehab start last Sunday for Double-A Altoona.

Taillon had surgery May 8, five days after a loss at Cincinnati in which he gave up six runs in five innings.

“Crazy, cancer is a scary word,” he said.

Following his diagnosis, Taillon received support from other athletes who have battled cancer. Cyclist Lance Armstrong, a testicular cancer survivor and founder of the Livestrong Foundation, reached out. Former big league first baseman John Kruk, another survivor, called too. Taillon is also exchanging texts with Colorado Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis, who was diagnosed last fall and is still undergoing treatment.

“I personally feel ready mentally, physically, and then it’s kind of out of my hands,” Taillon said. “I feel like I have bullets ready to pitch in the big leagues, but I need to make sure I can help the team.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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