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Command off, but Nola feels good after start

Likely No. 5 starter for Phils enjoying healthy camp
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola planned to pitch three innings Tuesday afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium, but not everything went as planned.

He struggled with "spotty" command, allowing five hits, two runs, one walk and striking out two in two innings against the Tigers in the Phils' 11-6 victory. He threw 40 pitches (27 strikes). He hit 92 mph on the radar gun. It was Nola's second start, but more importantly, it was his second healthy start.

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LAKELAND, Fla. -- Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola planned to pitch three innings Tuesday afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium, but not everything went as planned.

He struggled with "spotty" command, allowing five hits, two runs, one walk and striking out two in two innings against the Tigers in the Phils' 11-6 victory. He threw 40 pitches (27 strikes). He hit 92 mph on the radar gun. It was Nola's second start, but more importantly, it was his second healthy start.

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"Maintaining a healthy body and healthy arm is big for me," Nola said. "So far it's been healthy. I feel really good."

Nola finished last season on the disabled list with a low-grade sprain of his UCL and a low-grade strain of his flexor pronator tendon in his right elbow. He received a platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection in August and experienced a successful rehab in the fall in Clearwater, Fla.

He has had no elbow issues this spring.

Nola, who is expected to be the No. 5 starter, expects the command to come.

"I was kind of missing over the plate on some pitches, but other than that I felt good," he said. "My arm felt good, my body felt good."

Said Phillies manager Pete Mackanin: "Nola looked a little rusty. [Catcher Ryan] Hanigan told me that a lot of those pitches were pretty good pitches."

Extra bases

Mackanin praised much of his pitching staff Tuesday. He cited the efforts of Ben Lively, Jeanmar Gomez, Cesar Ramos and Colton Murray. They combined to throw six scoreless innings.

Lively, who is the organization's No. 25 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, struck out three in two scoreless innings.

"Lively did really good," Mackanin said. "I liked the way he looked."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Aaron Nola