BALTIMORE (AP) -Scott Kazmir is expected to make his season debut for Tampa Bay on Sunday after missing more than a month with an elbow injury.
Kazmir made his third rehabilitation start Monday, pitching for Triple-A Durham against Richmond. The left-hander allowed one run and three hits in five innings, striking out three and walking one.
Rays manager Joe Maddon has until the end of the week to decide whom to drop from the 25-man roster to make room for Kazmir, who went 13-9 in 34 games last year. The three most likely candidates to be optioned are Jason Hammel, Edwin Jackson or Andy Sonnanstine.
``All of these starters that you see doing well right now knew the competition was going to be rigid going through spring training,'' Maddon said. ``Kaz gets hurt, but now they know Kaz is coming back. They can count. They have all pitched extremely well to this point and it is a tough decision. But it's one of those decisions a lot of teams would like to be faced with.''
Kazmir, who has not pitched since the opening week of spring training, will face Boston on Sunday.
Maddon also must make a decision soon on reliever Al Reyes (right shoulder soreness), who is eligible to come off the disabled list Thursday.
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