TEMPE, Ariz. -- Scott Kazmir feels he's on the right track, no matter how strenuously the box score might argue otherwise.
"My first start and [this one] have felt the best," Kazmir said, having gone 4 1/3 innings and yielded four runs on three hits and four walks in a 10-7 loss to the Indians on Saturday. "My fastball felt good, for the most part. It had late life. My changeup had so much movement, I couldn't get it in for a strike."
Kazmir had three strikeouts, and one of the three hits he allowed -- an RBI single by Adam Everett -- wasn't struck hard, but found an open area.
Manager Mike Scioscia saw "some strides with his command," but noted a lack of efficiency in Kazmir's effort.
2010 Spring Training - null
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"The ball came out hotter," he said, "but 95 pitches in 4 1/3 innings is a lot of work. Hopefully, as he gets his mechanics, he'll be more pitch efficient.
"Early on, there were too many 3-2 counts. What you want to do is get in the [strike] zone earlier, and expand it."
Kazmir had felt out of sync with his delivery in his previous outing. But this time, he was in a nice groove from the perfect first inning on -- even though a few very close ball fours cost him along the way.
"My leg kick was way more natural than in my last start," he said. "I wasn't trying to manipulate my body. Instead of trying to create something early, I was just nice and easy, keeping myself in a good throwing position. I had some good, late life on my fastball, which is more important to me than gun readings."
Kazmir's fastball was in the high 80s, topping out at 90 mph.
"I'm not concerned about that now," he said. "I'm working on my arm slot. Seeing how guys swing and miss tells me I have the late life I need."