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Scott Kazmir impressive in Angels' win over White Sox

March 4, 2011 |  2:42 pm

Kazmir_275 Left-hander Scott Kazmir had an impressive outing Friday, holding the White Sox to a pair of hits in a scoreless three-inning performance in a Cactus League game the Angels won, 3-1.

Vernon Wells and Howie Kendrick took care of the bulk of the Angels' offense with Wells singling and scoring on two-out singles by Kendrick in both the fourth and sixth innings.

Kazmir, projected to be a key part of the Angels' rotation, had a career-worst season in 2010, going 9-15 with a 5.94 ERA. But after a slow start in his second spring outing -- he walked White Sox leadoff hitter Juan Pierre on four pitches -- Kazmir settled down, throwing 24 of his final 37 pitches for strikes.

The only other Chicago hitters to reach base off Kazmir -- infielders Brent Morel and Alexei Ramirez -- both got on with doubles and were stranded. The first double came on a changeup, the second on a high 0-2 slider.

"I feel like I’m definitely making strides. So I'm happy with that," Kazmir said. "One step at a time."

Two other left-handers the Angels are counting on this season, relievers Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi, also pitched Friday. Downs retired the side in order in the fourth but Takahaski had to battle through his inning. Chicago loaded the bases with one out in the fifth on an error, a single and a hit batter before Takahashi escaped the jam unscathed with a strikeout and flyout.

The White Sox loaded the bases again an inning later, but right-hander Michael Kohn also wiggled off the hook by getting a couple of popouts.

Meanwhile the Angels, held to just a walk in two innings by White Sox starter Jake Peavy, took a 1-0 lead in the fourth against reliever Jesse Crain when Wells singled with two out, stole second and scored on Kendrick's ground single to left.

Two innings later Wells and Kendrick did it again, with Wells singling, moving to second on a wild pitch, then scoring on a two-out line drive to center.

The Angels got their final run in the seventh on a booming leadoff double by Mark Trumbo -- his second of the day -- pinch-runner Tyson Auer's steal of third and Peter Bourjos' one-out sacrifice fly.

-- Kevin Baxter in Tempe, Ariz.

Photo: Scott Kazmir during a game last season. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times