SEATTLE - Former Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir began his second month in exile Thursday, marking the occasion with his fifth start at the Angels' extended spring training camp in Arizona.
It has been clear since the Angels put Kazmir on the disabled list because of "lower-back soreness" on April 8 that they would stretch out his rehabilitation process for as long as possible.
Considered a solid young left-hander in 2008, Kazmir, 27, slumped to 9-15 with a 5.94 ERA in 2010, striking out a career-low 93 and giving up a career-high 25 homers. The velocity of Kazmir's fastball, once near 94 mph, was down. His mechanics were out of whack. In his only major-league start this season, he gave up five runs and five hits in 1-2/3 innings at Kansas City on April 3.
But Thursday, there were indications of a possible thaw between the Angels and Kazmir, who is being paid $14.5 million this season. He gave up one hit in 6-2/3 innings in a 101-pitch outing.
Manager Mike Scioscia said Kazmir's next start probably will be in a minor-league game, starting a clock in which the Angels will have 30 days to recall him or release him.
"After this one, we'll see if he's ready to pitch in a game situation, on a full rehab," Scioscia said. "Then we'll be able to evaluate him and see exactly where he is."
Nats confront umpires
NEW YORK - The Nationals' 1-0 loss to the Mets ended with manager Jim Riggleman, C Ivan Rodriguez and third-base coach Bo Porter on the field hollering at the umpires after a disputed call at first base.
GM Mike Rizzo also confronted the umps in a tunnel underneath the stands. MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said the commissioner's office was looking into the issue.
After Laynce Nix doubled with one out in the ninth, Jayson Werth followed with a one-hopper that Mets 3B Justin Turner snagged, but his throw appeared to pull 1B Daniel Murphy off the bag. Werth also seemed to beat the play.
First-base umpire Phil Cuzzi called Werth out. Riggleman came out to argue, then eventually took his beef to plate umpire Manny Gonzalez, a minor-league callup. "I wanted to see if maybe from his angle he could see it better, maybe the first baseman coming off the base. He's got a good look at that. He refused," Riggleman said.
After the final out, Riggleman, Rodriguez and Porter kept up the argument as the umpires walked to their locker room.
Cubs at Fenway: When the Cubs play tonight at Fenway Park, it will be their first visit since the 1918 World Series. "I think it's going to be a big ticket," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. Sure enough, a front-row seat for Sunday's nationally televised game was available for $860 on StubHub.com.
L.A. STORY: Former Dodgers CEO Jamie McCourt asked a judge to order the sale of the club, saying her ex-husband has badly mismanaged the franchise since he fired her nearly two years ago and brought the franchise to the "brink of financial ruin." The request comes less than a month after commissioner Bud Selig appointed former Rangers president Tom Schieffer to oversee the Dodgers after questions arose about the team's finances.
Brewers: LF Ryan Braun, the NL homer leader with 12, left the game vs. the Padres in the fifth with a sore left shoulder.
Indians: DH Travis Hafner was sidelined again because his right side was still sore.
Orioles: 1B Derrek Lee (left oblique strain, 15-day) and 2B Brian Roberts (concussion, seven-day) were put on the DL.
Phillies: RHP Joe Blanton was scratched minutes from his start against Colorado because of soreness in his right elbow.
White Sox: RHP Jake Peavy reported nothing more than normal soreness after his 111-pitch, three-hit shutout of the Indians on Wednesday. "All is normal," said Peavy, who had surgery on a detached lat muscle near his right shoulder 10 months ago.