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Kazmir pleased with two-inning stint

Kazmir pleased with two-inning stint

ST. PETERSBURG -- Manager Joe Maddon apologized for reports that Scott Kazmir would throw on Tuesday in an extended Spring Training game at the Rays' Minor League complex in St. Petersburg. The lefty tossed two innings in Dunedin, Fla., on Monday instead, a scheduled part of the program that Maddon said he misspoke about.

With nine players currently on the disabled list, Maddon joked he would have to bring his rehab calendar out to avoid any future mishaps. Kazmir also noted that the plan had dictated him to throw Monday and said the confusion probably came about last week: "With our program we were thinking about cutting things out."

Maddon said pitching coach Jim Hickey accompanied the Rays' ace to Dunedin, where Kazmir threw against Toronto's extended team at its Minor League complex.

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"[It] went good; the first inning, I threw nothing but fastballs and the second inning, I threw three changeups and one slider," Kazmir said.

Maddon noted that the lefty was clocked upwards of 93 mph and said it was a good session.

"It went great. ... The main thing [to get back to] is fastball location," Kazmir said.

Maddon and Kazmir agreed that Friday will be the day the lefty throws in a game at Class A Vero Beach.

After getting three days' rest, Kazmir will throw three or four innings at Vero Beach, then assume a regular five-day rotation schedule for his next two starts. Kazmir said the plan is for two starts at Vero Beach and one start at Triple-A Durham before he returns to the Rays.

The lefty, who led the American League in strikeouts last season, has been sidelined with a left elbow strain since Feb. 25.

Ironically, Friday's game will be against St. Lucie, an affiliate of the Mets, who originally drafted Kazmir.

"First time I've faced them in a while," he said.

Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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