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Tillman feels good about results of first spring start


SARASOTA, Fla.-- Chris Tillman, making his first spring start after Tuesday's rainout, tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings against the Red Sox in Wednesday's 5-3 win. He got ahead of six of the eight batters he faced but labored after that and issued a pair of walks, including a two-out free pass to Daniel Nava to end his night.

"First time out, I'm not really disappointed," Tillman said. "I felt OK. Command was spotty, at best. I guess you kind of expect it for first time out. Other than that, I felt pretty good."

Tillman, who is out of options, is projected to be in the rotation. He threw 43 pitches (25 strikes), including a game-opening strikeout of Jacoby Ellsbury.

"I was trying to work on my fastball command early," he said. "That's what it's all about the first time out. Mixed up my pitches. Fastball, changeup are there. Breaking stuff's not where it needs to be right now, but it's typical early in spring."

Manager Buck Showalter has said that it's too early to start evaluating players one way or another, and Tillman said he will take advantage of the longer spring and try not to think about it.

"It's all about getting ready for April," he said. "Just try to get my work in. Pitch when I'm told."

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