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Pitcher Scott Kazmir looks sound in Angels' exhibition game with Milwaukee

March 30, 2010 |  4:36 pm

Scott Kazmir, who was scratched from his previous start because of tightness in his throwing shoulder, took what he called "a big step" Tuesday, allowing one run and four hits, striking out two and walking none in five innings of a 1-1, 10-inning exhibition tie with the Milwaukee Brewers in Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Kazmir gave up a single to Carlos Gomez, a stolen base and a run-scoring double to Rickie Weeks in the first inning but blanked the Brewers on two hits over the next four innings. He threw 71 pitches; his target was 75 pitches.

"I got up and down five times, and my slider was good," Kazmir said. "The changeup wasn't there, but it will be. I was mainly working on my slider, getting it down and in to right-handed batters. The fastball was good. I was able to locate it. It still feels like I'm building up a bit."

The Angels will break camp on Thursday and have three exhibition games in Southern California beginning Thursday night, but Kazmir will remain in Arizona to pitch in a camp game, with the intention of throwing 85 to 90 pitches on Sunday.

"He got to where he needed to be -- five innings and over 70 pitches -- that's one hurdle," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "The next one is how he comes back and how he does Sunday. His stuff was really good today."

The Angels, who are on the verge of opening the season with no players on the disabled list, got a scare in the seventh when catcher Jeff Mathis was hit on the back hand by a Claudio Vargas fastball. Mathis suffered a bruise, "but he should be OK," Scioscia said.

The Angels tied the score in the seventh inning when Howie Kendrick singled, Mathis was hit by a pitch, Brandon Wood advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt and Michael Ryan hit a sacrifice fly to right field.

-- Mike DiGiovanna in Tempe, Ariz.

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