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Liriano puts abrupt '16 ending behind him in debut

Special to MLB.com

DUNEDIN, Fla -- Spring Training may be a few weeks old, but Blue Jays starter Francisco Liriano is just getting warmed up.

Toronto's left-hander made his spring debut in Friday's 3-2 win over the Yankees at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. It was a brief, yet effective opening act -- two shutout innings, three strikeouts and no walks.

DUNEDIN, Fla -- Spring Training may be a few weeks old, but Blue Jays starter Francisco Liriano is just getting warmed up.

Toronto's left-hander made his spring debut in Friday's 3-2 win over the Yankees at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. It was a brief, yet effective opening act -- two shutout innings, three strikeouts and no walks.

"Feels great, you know," Liriano said. "Physically, everything feels fine."

It marked Liriano's first game action since getting struck on the head by a liner off the bat of the Rangers' Carlos Gomez in Game 2 of the American League Division Series.

Video: TOR@TEX Gm2: Liriano exits after getting hit by liner

Five months later, the Blue Jays' veteran has had no effects from the concussion he sustained last October.

"No, not at all," Liriano said. "I'm just trying to put everything behind me and trying to move forward. I don't even think about it anymore. It's in the past for me. I'm not worried about that."

Not only was Liriano ready to move past his painful postseason, but he was also relieved to put his first spring outing behind him.

"You feel anxious, a little anxious to get [myself] ready for the season," Liriano said. "A good feeling to get the first one out of the way."

Friday was a positive step forward for Liriano, as he used his entire repertoire against the Yankees, throwing his changeup, slider and sinker with success. He also fulfilled his top priority.

"[I was] getting ahead on the fastball, trying to use more of my fastball early [in the count]," Liriano said. "It was working pretty good today"

Video: AL WC: Liriano's perfect relief earns victory

After being acquired from the Pirates last August, Liriano went 2-2 with a 2.92 ERA in 10 games (eight starts) for the Blue Jays. He also earned the AL Wild Card Game victory over the Orioles.

This spring, there's an even greater comfort level with Toronto.

"We have a bunch of guys who want to win," Liriano said. "I'm very happy and very glad to be part of a team like that. Just trying to be part of a team and trying to go out there and trying to do everything I can [to] help the team win some ballgames."

Needless to say, Liriano is happy to be with the Blue Jays and so far happy with his performance.

"I always believe in myself, always working hard to get better," Liriano said. "With Russell [Martin] behind the plate, I think it's gonna be better for me, a little easier. Trust in my stuff, believe in myself and just go out there and learn and get better every day"

Mike Nabors is a contributor to MLB.com.

Toronto Blue Jays, Francisco Liriano