Billingsley sharp in fourth rehab start

Phillies right-hander says his arm feels normal

Billingsley sharp in fourth rehab start

ST. LOUIS -- Phillies right-hander Chad Billingsley made his fourth rehab start Thursday with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

He allowed five hits, two unearned runs, one walk and struck out six in 5 2/3 innings. Billingsley threw 99 pitches (66 strikes).

"I thought everything was sharp, located really well with the fastball today, which I didn't have last time out," Billingsley said in a transcript provided by the team. "I was moving my fastball in and out, up and down, which makes it a little easier to pitch.

"My arm feels normal, I'm really happy with it. It's been a journey."

Billingsley, 30, is recovering from a pair of right elbow surgeries. He has a 4.74 ERA in four rehab starts.

It could be his final rehab start, although that remains to be seen. Phillies right-hander Severino Gonzalez will make his second start Sunday against the Marlins in Miami. Billingsley cannot pitch Sunday, but he could rejoin the rotation after that.

"It'd be awesome," Billingsley said, when asked what it would mean to make his next start in the big leagues. "It's been a long road with a lot of hard work and a lot of grinding. Just to be pitching at a big league field again and being back out there would be awesome."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.