Arrieta allows 2 runs in 1st start with Phillies

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Eight days before opening day, Jake Arrieta made his first appearance for the Philadelphia Phillies.

“I had a ton of nervous energy,” Arrieta said Thursday after allowing two runs that included Miguel Cabrera’s solo homer during a 6-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers.

Arrieta struck out two and walked none, throwing 31 pitches over two innings. He gave up three hits.

“Very anxious to get out there,” the 32-year-old right-hander said. “I was in here at 8, and I couldn’t stop moving. But now that’s over, I can kind of take a deep breath and remember what it feels like to be in a game situation. Umpires, crowd, and it felt great.”

Arrieta and the Phillies finalized a $75 million, three-year contract on March 12, a deal that could be worth up to $135 million over five seasons. Aaron Nola will start the March 29 opener at Atlanta, and it is not clear whether Arrieta will take a turn in the first time through the rotation.

“Do I think I can handle going out there? Of course,” he said. “But is it the smartest thing to do? Maybe not. I’m onboard with what these guys intend to do. I know they have my health and the teams’ success over the long haul in mind, and that’s the most important thing moving forward.”

Arrieta struck out JaCoby Jones and Jeimer Candelario leading off the game, the allowed Cabrera’s opposite-field homer to right on a 2-1 pitch.

After a pair of flyouts starting the second, Christin Stewart singled, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Jose Iglesias’ double.

“We just wanted health and strength, and we saw both of those things,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “I thought it was a really, really positive outing for Jake. He touched 95 (mph), demonstrated a heavy sinker, demonstrated his typical cross-body delivery and his ability to be deceptive and throw strikes.”

Arrieta won the 2015 NL Cy Young Award with the Chicago Cubs and helped them win the World Series the next season, going 2-0 in a seven-game series against Cleveland. He was 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA last year.

He went 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA in five seasons in Chicago after going 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA for the Orioles.

Notes: INF Ryan Flaherty was released from his minor league contract. If he had been added to the 40-man roster, he would have received a one-year deal calling for a $1.9 million salary in the major leagues and $180,000 in the minors.

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