Williams recovers after leadoff homer to silence Nats

Right-hander strikes out six over six innings in season debut

Williams recovers after leadoff homer to silence Nats

PHILADELPHIA -- Jerome Williams vowed to fix the problems that plagued him at the end of Spring Training.

"I'm going to force it to happen," he said late last month.

It appeared he did.

He allowed a leadoff home run to Nationals center fielder Michael Taylor in the first inning Friday in the Phillies' 4-1 victory at Citizens Bank Park, but did not allow another run the rest of the way. Williams allowed five hits, one run, one walk, one home run and struck out six in six innings.

Williams on his outing, winning

His performance certainly was welcomed. Williams allowed 28 hits, 17 runs (14 earned runs), two walks and struck out 10 in 12 2/3 innings in his final three Grapefruit League starts.

Williams fans Harper

"It was just throwing the ball down," Williams said about Friday's success. "I can't really pinpoint what it was (in Spring Training). I know it wasn't feeling right. I knew how to fix it and I wasn't really fixing it at all."

Williams said he found himself after two productive bullpen sessions before his 2015 regular-season debut.

"You think it worked?" he said.

Friday night it certainly did.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.