GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Angels released left-hander Scott Kazmir two seasons ago. On Monday afternoon, they got to see how much progress the pitcher has made in his comeback attempt with the Indians in a scoreless tie at Goodyear Ballpark.
Kazmir matched Jered Weaver's four shutout innings, continuing his push for the fifth spot in Cleveland's starting rotation. Kazmir, who is in camp with the Tribe as a non-roster invitee, was released by the Angels in June 2011. The lefty said that fact did not provide any extra motivation on Monday.
"No," Kazmir said. "It was just fun seeing those guys before the game and having a chance to talk to them. Besides that, I was just locked in getting whatever I had to do done."
Cleveland has thrown Kazmir -- along with Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Corey Kluber and Daisuke Matsuzaka -- into the mix for its lone rotation vacancy. The lefty has answered the call so far, turning in 11 shutout innings between Cactus League contests and one Minor League "B" game appearance.
Overall this spring, Kazmir has scattered eight hits with 13 strikeouts and two walks.
Against the Angels, Kazmir allowed no runs on three hits with four strikeouts and one free pass. He allowed a leadoff single to Mark Trumbo in the second inning, but then induced a double-play groundout off the bat of Howard Kendrick and followed that with a strikeout of Vernon Wells. Los Angeles had three baserunners between the third and fourth innings, but it was unable to score off the lefty.
"Everything went well," Kazmir said. "I felt pretty good out there. I wasn't as sharp as I wanted to be, but at the same time, I was throwing strikes. That's all you can ask for at this time. It went well."
Weaver -- third in the balloting for the American League Cy Young Award last season -- held Cleveland to no runs on three hits in his four innings for the Angels. The right-hander mixed in six strikeouts and allowed two walks in his outing.
"I didn't want to keep getting banged around," Weaver said, "so I wanted to mix in some offspeed pitches and was able to keep them off-balance. It's coming along. Arm slot and mechanics are becoming more consistent, like you would expect in your third, fourth and fifth start."
Matsuzaka -- also a non-roster invitee this spring for the Indians -- worked a scoreless sixth inning, but left the game with calf cramps after throwing a few warmup pitches before the seventh. The right-hander has allowed two runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts and one walk in eight innings in Cactus League play for Cleveland this spring.
Angels up next: The Angels have their first off-day of the spring on Tuesday, but C.J. Wilson and Garrett Richards will throw to Minor League hitters in a simulated game on the main field at Tempe Diablo Stadium at 11:30 a.m. PT. Joe Blanton, who threw three innings before Friday's game got rained out, will start Wednesday against the Padres in Peoria, Ariz., opposite San Diego lefty Clayton Richard at 1:05 p.m. on MLB.TV.