CLEARWATER, Fla. - After a shaky start, Brad Lidge settled down Wednesday in his third rehabilitation appearance at single-A Clearwater.
Lidge, still recovering from off-season operations on his right elbow and knee, started the first inning against Tampa, yielding no runs and no hits while walking one and striking out two.
It was his first scoreless inning since receiving a cortisone shot in his right elbow March 30 to give his rehabilitation from surgery a jump- start.
"Each outing is getting better," Lidge said. "It's encouraging. I'm able to go out there and picture a pitch and execute it."
Lidge walked the first Tampa batter, who was thrown out trying to steal second. He struck out the next two batters looking.
"He threw extremely well," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He took a nice step forward. His slider was tighter. He had better location. I guess his velocity was 90-91 [m.p.h.]. He felt good. He was much sharper and crisper."
Lidge threw 14 pitches, eight for strikes. He was especially impressed with his slider, which he said was regaining its deception.
"This is the first time the slider was really there," said Lidge, who said he threw five or six of the pitches. "It had a lot more bite and depth. That all comes from working on arm speed, which is coming along."
Another Phillies reliever recovering from elbow surgery, J.C. Romero, made a relief appearance for Clearwater on Tuesday. He lasted two innings, allowing one run on two hits with one walk and two hits.
Both Lidge and Romero will be in Philadelphia for Thursday's National League ring ceremony.
Lidge is expected to be back in Clearwater on Friday and will start Saturday's game for the Threshers.
"I could be extended out to two innings in my next appearance," Lidge said.
He could make a rehab appearance at double-A Reading after that.