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Kazmir's next start delayed

ST. PETERSBURG — Winning the All-Star Game cost Scott Kazmir a day or two until his next start.

Kazmir said he felt fine after throwing 14 pitches in the 15th inning Tuesday night (well, Wednesday morning), but the Rays wanted to be careful because he threw 104 on Sunday.

"It's just to err on the side of caution," executive vice president Andrew Friedman said.

So instead of starting Saturday against fellow All-Star Roy Halladay, Kazmir will pitch Sunday or Monday. A decision will be made today after a light bullpen session. Matt Garza will start on Saturday.

"I felt good. I felt loose," Kazmir said Thursday. "Just a little sore, like a good soreness. It all depends how I feel (today)."

The Rays had preferred Kazmir not pitch in the All-Star Game, but manager Joe Maddon said they had no problem with AL/Boston manager Terry Francona using him given the situation.

"He did what he had to do, absolutely," Maddon said.

REYES READY: Reliever Al Reyes will be activated for today's game, rejoining the bullpen for his first action since June 9. Reyes, who had been out with shoulder tendonitis, is 1-2 with a 4.02 ERA. The Rays already created a roster spot by optioning INF Reid Brig­nac to Triple A on Sunday.

BARTLETT, PERCIVAL NOT YET: The Rays sounded optimistic about getting closer Troy Percival (left hamstring) back soon but not as sure about SS Jason Bartlett (right knee sprain).

Percival was impressive throwing 30 pitches to hitters Thursday, but the Rays want medical evidence, and clearance, that he is healed.

"Percy was actually a little bit better than I anticipated … probably ahead of schedule," Maddon said. "He was landing without any hesitation, finishing like he normally does. The ball was really alive at the end."

If cleared, he could be back as soon as Saturday.

"I'm optimistic by what I saw, but I still want to talk to the medical folks," Maddon said.

Bartlett, who wore a brace for Thursday's workout, said he felt better but was still having trouble making left turns. He, too, was to see a doctor, and the Rays expect to know more today.

MISCELLANY: All players made the 5 p.m. workout; All-Stars Evan Longoria and Kazmir were excused early. … Friedman said OF Rocco Baldelli will continue to DH and pinch hit on rehab with Double-A Montgomery with no timetable. … LHP David Price allowed seven hits and three runs (all on solo home runs) over five innings for Montgomery on Thursday. He got a no-decision and is 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA in five starts there.

Kazmir's next start delayed 07/17/08 [Last modified: Friday, July 18, 2008 4:50pm]

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