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Burnett: Rough start still 'step' in spring process

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Right-hander A.J. Burnett said he was frustrated after giving up six runs on seven hits in just three innings in his Grapefruit League start against the Orioles on Friday at Ed Smith Stadium.

But not because of the ugly box score line.

"I've been doing this for a while. It ain't the first time I've given up six in the spring and it won't be the last. So it's a process for everybody. I don't look into it too much. It will come. It's always been there," said the 37-year-old, who was signed after the start of Spring Training to bolster the Phillies rotation.

"It's a step. It's not a step backwards."

The only part of Burnett's performance that bothered him was that he too often got ahead of hitters and then was unable to put them away. He hit two batters, Jemile Weeks and David Lough, on the foot with 0-2 curveballs.

"That's more frustrating," he said. "I want to see good results. But at the same time I have to check myself. Hey, it's three innings for the first time, second start. You've got to progress. Find the positives and work from there."

Said manager Ryne Sandberg after the 15-4 loss: "Overall, he got his work in. He was a little erratic with a couple breaking pitches he tried to get strikeouts on."

Paul Hagen is a reporter for
Read More: Philadelphia Phillies, A.J. Burnett