Surprise, Ariz. Rich Harden made his initial Oakland spring-training appearance Friday, allowing one run in three innings as an Athletics' split squad lost to the Kansas City Royals, 9-4.
Harden was limited to 19 starts and three relief appearances last season because of strained left oblique muscle and another strained back muscle. He was set back in spring training by food poisoning, losing several pounds.
"I'm down to 191 pounds," Harden said. "I'd like to get to 196-198 by the time the season starts. I was 197 before I got sick. It sure stayed with me awhile. To me getting back to around 197 pounds is a big deal."
Harden, 10-5 with a 2.53 earned-run average last season, walked two of his first three batters.