CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) Eventually the work Ryan Howard put in during the offseason, which included losing at least 15 pounds, was going to pay off.
Howard hit his first home run of the exhibition season, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Friday.
''I'm just going to go out there and do what I can do,'' Howard said. ''The approach is try to put a good swing on the ball. If I can get extra-base hits, home runs, whatever I can do to try to help get those guys in, we've been doing a great job of being able to go out and execute.''
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley made his spring training debut after missing 10 games because of a sprained right ankle sustained in January. Batting third as the designated hitter, he struck out in his first at-bat and singled off Chris Archer leading off the fourth.
Utley said he wants to play in the field soon, but he will likely be a DH at least once more before getting to play defense.
''It feels pretty good,'' Utley said of his ankle. ''Still making a little progress on it. It's not perfect yet, but we're moving in the right direction.''
Howard followed Utley and sent Archer's next pitch, a changeup, over the right-field wall for a 2-1 lead in the fourth, only the Phillies' third home run of spring training.
Evan Longoria hit an RBI single in the first off Joely Rodriguez after the Phillies failed to turn what could have been an inning-ending double play. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez's relay throw landed in the Rays dugout, putting Asdrubal Cabrera on second.
Rodriguez, obtained from Pittsburgh during the offseason, allowed one hit in three innings.
Archer gave up two runs and four hits in 4 1-3 innings with three strikeouts and no walks. Tampa Bay had four hits.
''Even with the home run, I was very pleased,'' Archer said. ''Because here's the thing, there's no way I'm going to let two pitches define my entire outing. I gave up a base hit to a good hitter (Utley), and I gave up a home run.''
Archer understands he can't always throw a perfect pitch.
He threw 35 of his 50 pitches for strikes, a point of emphasis in spring training. He wasn't looking to throw a specific number of pitchers or changeups against the Phillies, he just wanted to pitch and have catcher Curt Casali call a normal game.
Rays manager Kevin Cash thought Archer looked really good and was pleased by how four groundouts against his No. 2 pitcher.
''The front office and my teammates have challenged me to see how many strikes I can throw,'' Archer said. ''Even with above-average stuff, we're human, and we think we have to hit corners and throw a perfect slider that starts right in the middle and bounces right behind the plate.''
Phillies right-hander Aaron Harang was scratched from a spring training start for the second time this year because of lower back discomfort and will miss Saturday's game against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland.
Harang missed a March 4 outing because of hamstring tightness, which led to lower back tightness. He pitched two scoreless innings Monday against Baltimore, allowing three hits and two walks.
He signed a $5 million, one-year contract with the Phillies during the offseason and has been slated to be their No. 3 starter.
Phillies right-hander Paul Clemens is to start Saturday against the Tigers, who send right-hander Anibal Sanchez to the mound. Right-hander Nathan Karns is expected to start Saturday against the Orioles, who got with left-hander Brian Matusz. As part of the Prospect Series, a 25-player roster of Phillies prospects plays Camada's junior national team.