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 ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Scott Kazmir missed a scheduled intrasquad game appearance Tuesday after feeling discomfort in his elbow on his final warmup pitch.
The AL strikeout champion had warmed up in the bullpen without a problem, then watched the first half-inning from the bench. He threw three warmup pitches before leaving the mound and walking to the clubhouse for tests.
``I was warming up, feeling great,'' said Kazmir, who was 13-9 with a 3.48 ERA last season, when he led the AL with 239 strikeouts - one fewer than major league leader Jake Peavy. ``On my last warmup pitch ... I just kind of felt a little discomfort.''
The Rays said the 24-year-old, who signed a $3.785 million, one-year contract last month, would undergo a MRI exam later in the day. His status will be updated on Wednesday.
Kazmir, an All-Star two years ago, made a club-record 34 starts last season and is being counted on to head an improved rotation also featuring two other promising young starters, James Shields and Matt Garza.
Kazmir, scheduled to work one inning, said he didn't feel a pop in his elbow.
``No, nothing like that. Discomfort,'' he said, adding that he shut himself down immediately because he didn't want to take any unnecessary chances.
``It was just a little scary because I never felt it before,'' Kazmir added. ``It kind of feels like maybe I tried to do a little too much to get warmed up. Maybe I hyperextended it or something like that. That's kind of what it feels like.''

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