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Asche "progressing" from back injury

Cody Asche was out of the Phillies lineup for the fourth straight game after experiencing "some tightness" during pregame stretch on Thursday. He returned to game action on Sunday, though, playing designated hitter in a minor league game.

Cody Asche was scratched from the lineup on Thursday in Dunedin with tightness in his back and hasn't seen his name slotted into the Phillies lineup since.

But just before sitting out his fourth straight game, Asche said he was "progressing" and was optimistic he'd be good to go a week from tomorrow, when the Phillies open the regular season at Citizens Bank Park.

"Yeah, I have a lot of trust in our training staff and in our doctors that they're going to get me right," Asche said. "We just have to make sure it's something you take care of right now so you're not dealing with it in the first 5 months of the season, robbing yourself of what you can do."

Asche did return to the field on Sunday - he was slotted in as a designated hitter in an intrasquad minor league game at the Carpenter Complex. In his first at-bat Asche legged out an infield single off David Buchanan.

Asche took regular batting practice on both Saturday and Sunday. He also fielded ground balls prior to Sunday's game at Bright House Field.

Asche's back ailment came at a bad time - he had homered in three of his last six games before his current, four-day hiatus.