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03/14/11 7:20 PM ET

Padres return Rule 5 pick Kontos to Yanks

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres announced Monday that they have returned Rule 5 pitcher George Kontos to the Yankees.

The Padres selected the right-handed pitcher in December's Rule 5 Draft, meaning they had to keep him on their 25-man roster for the entire regular season or offer him back to the Yankees for $25,000, half of the claiming fee.

Kontos, a long shot to win a job in the bullpen, had a 9.82 ERA in three appearances this spring for the Padres. He allowed four earned runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings and had three walks.

Kontos, 25, also allowed two home runs.

Harang successful in getting his pitches down

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- In his previous Cactus League start, Aaron Harang allowed seven runs to his former team -- the Reds.

Harang had issues in that start with his landing and how it caused his pitches to elevate as they passed through the strike zone.

He had no such issue Monday, though, as he got eight ground-ball outs in four innings, allowing one earned run, against the White Sox in an eventual 7-6 Padres win. He struck out two and did not walk a batter.

"It was a timing issue, landing hard on my front side, that made me elevate," Harang said. "I slowed things down [today]. A lot of my pitches were down in the zone. I had a few up, but they were up with intent."

Harang allowed two runs, though only one was earned -- that was the solo home run that Chicago's Lastings Milledge hit off him in the third inning.

The White Sox had runners on in the fourth inning but Harang escaped trouble when he got Dallas McPherson to hit into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.

"I got a couple of ground balls ... I was pleased with how I was able to execute," Harang said.

Top prospect Kelly shines on back field

PEORIA, Ariz. - Casey Kelly allowed one run in three innings in a "B" game against the Mariners on a back field at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Kelly, regarded as the top prospect in the Padres' Minor League system, allowed two hits and one walk and had two strikeouts in a game won by the Mariners, 4-1.

The game lasted seven innings, as agreed upon by Padres manager Bud Black and Seattle manager Eric Wedge.

The Padres had five singles in the game with the hits coming from Rico Noel, Andy Parrino, Anthony Rizzo, Bobby Kielty and Jason Hagerty.

Designated hitter Kyle Blanks, appearing in his first game-like setting, went 0-for-2 with a walk and two strikeouts.

Blanks had reconstructive elbow surgery last season and is behind the rest of the position players in camp. He won't be ready to break camp at the end of the month.

Padres pitcher Rob Musgrave allowed two earned runs on eight hits. Another reliever, Scott Munter, fared better, allowing one hit over two scoreless innings.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.