Back issues behind him, Harang makes successful debut

Back issues behind him, Harang makes successful debut

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Andres Blanco homered to lead the Phillies to a 1-0 win over the Orioles on Monday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.

Blanco broke the scoreless tie, homering off Orioles lefty Brian Matusz, in the top of the fifth inning for his first Grapefruit League blast. Matusz went 2 1/3 innings, allowing just two hits, including the home run, in his second spring appearance.

Aaron Harang pitched two scoreless innings in his Grapefruit League debut. He missed his scheduled start last week because of lower back tightness. He said the issue is behind him.

"The whole back thing, I know the feel," Harang said. "It's the first two weeks of the spring when you're running around in your cleats and getting used to being out running around and standing around. I don't go home in the offseason and stand in my front yard with my spikes and train for this."

Oriole starter Chris Tillman went two scoreless innings in his first spring start, allowing one hit and one walk in the 32-pitch outing.

"I don't like sitting there. Threw enough bullpens, so I was ready," Tillman said of his spring debut. "It was fun just getting back out there, get in that atmosphere again, get the blood going a little bit."

Tillman threw all of his pitches, though it was a heavy dose of fastballs, and said he was mainly looking to get the feel back.

"Early on, I was a little excited, but really made an adjustment and got back on," he said. "Threw some good changeups, some good curveballs, fastball location was good for the most part. I'm happy with it."

Up next: Phillies right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez starts Tuesday afternoon against the Tigers at Bright House Field live on MLB.TV at 1:05 p.m. ET. Gonzalez entered camp competing for a job in the rotation, and he will get a good look following this week's news that Cliff Lee suffered a setback with his left elbow.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.