B.J. Ryan reports no elbow problems

Toronto Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan reported no problems Thursday, as he pitched to live hitters for the first time since last April.

Toronto Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan reported no problems Thursday, as he pitched to hitters for the first time since April 14.

Ryan, who spent last season recovering from left elbow surgery, hurled 21 pitches in batting practice at Dunedin, Fla., where the Blue Jays hold spring training.

"I just want to get going and get some innings in," said Ryan, who had ligament replacement surgery last May 10.

"It felt good to be back out there."

"He feels good after he throws," Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. "He said, physically, he feels good.

"We're going to be cautious. But today, he got over another hurdle."

While Ryan worked out with minor leaguers in Dunedin, the Blue Jays lost 4-1 to the Detroit Tigers in their Grapefruit League opener at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla.

Virgil Vasquez pitched two hitless innings for the Tigers as he started in place of Nate Robertson, whose wife, Kristin, gave birth to a six-pound, 14-ounce boy at 1:23 a.m. Thursday.

"I found out in the morning, when I was coming out of the bathroom," Vasquez said. "I hope Nate had a wonderful baby.

"But I was grateful for the opportunity. If I can locate the ball well and keep it down, I can make it in the majors."

Litsch 'so-so'

Curtis Granderson hit a two-run home run in the second inning off Toronto starter Jesse Litsch, who allowed four runs on four hits in two innings. 

"It was my first time playing in a live situation since last year," Litsch said. "It was good to get my feet wet."

"For his first time out, he was so-so," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He cannot walk guys and the Tigers have a tough lineup."

Left-hander Gustavo Chacin tossed a scoreless inning for Toronto, permitting a single to Magglio Ordonez before retiring Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez, Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Guillen.

Ordonez led Detroit with two hits, including a two-run double.

Rod Barajas doubled and scored Toronto's lone run, while Buck Coats, Joe Inglett and Reed Johnson had singles.

With files from the Canadian Press