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Ill Kazmir struggles through start

Posted Mar 19, 2009 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Mar 19, 2009 at 03:20 PM

PORT CHARLOTTE—Weakened by the bug that has been rolling through the Rays’ clubhouse, Scott Kazmir wasn’t terribly effective in his start this afternoon against the Cardinals.

The lefty allowed five runs on eight hits in his four innings of work. He said his arm felt great, but that was about it.

“It felt like every single pitch that I threw, I had to take a step back and kind of catch a breath,” Kazmir said. “That was not a good feeling out there, but I still got my work in.”

Kazmir said his body felt like “Jell-O” and his fatigue kept him from throwing many sliders, but he didn’t feel bad enough to bail out on the start altogether.

“I just felt like I’d be way behind if I did scratch a start,” he said. “I felt good enough to go out there and still get my work in. I’m not worried about the numbers in spring training.”

At the very least, Kazmir’s uniform made it look like he had actually played, with dirt smeared all over his white pants and bloodstains peeking through from his right knee. Those battle scars came courtesy of what should have been an inning-ending groundout by Tyler Greene with two out in the fourth.

But it ended up as a single, after Kazmir was late breaking to the bag and messed up the timing as Chris Richard tried to feed him the ball once he recovered. Kazmir ended up arriving at the bag at the same time as Greene and tumbled head over heels as the ball trickled away.

“I was late getting there ... that was on me,” Kazmir said. “But I had a nice little dismount – I was just trying to make it look good.”

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