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The end is near for Scott Kazmir, who is hit hard again in minor leagues

Scott6
Scott Kazmir
was tagged for six earned runs and five hits in 1 2/3 innings, walking three, striking out one and hitting a batter in a rehabilitation start for triple-A Salt Lake against Sacramento on Tuesday night.

Kazmir retired only four of the 13 batters he faced, and he gave up all six of the runs in the second inning before being pulled. Of Kazmir’s 53 pitches, 25 were strikes.

The Angels hoped a month in extended spring training in Arizona and another month in the minor leagues would help Kazmir regain the form that made him one of baseball’s better young left-handers.

But Kazmir, who has lost considerable velocity on his fastball and command of his slider and changeup, has made virtually no progress — he has a 17.02 earned-run average in five rehab starts and has allowed 29 earned runs, 22 hits, 20 walks and 14 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings.

Kazmir’s 30-day rehab window would give him time to make one more start, but it appears the Angels will have no choice but to release Kazmir and absorb the $14.5 million on his 2011 contract.

Kazmir was acquired from Tampa Bay in August of 2009. He went 9-15 with a 5.94 ERA. In his only start for the Angels this season, Kazmir gave up five runs and five hits, walked two and hit two batters in Kansas City on April 3.

He was then placed on the disabled list because of lower-back tightness and replaced in the rotation by 21-year-old right-hander Tyler Chatwood, who is 3-4 with a 4.20 ERA in 13 starts.

-- Mike DiGiovanna in Seattle

Photo: Angels starter Scott Kazmir. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

 
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