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Thursday, March 6
Kim impressive in four-inning stint

Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Byung-Hyun Kim's bid to make Arizona's starting rotation got a big boost Thursday when he allowed one hit in four scoreless innings against an Anaheim Angels split squad.

The former Diamondbacks closer struck out two and walked one in Arizona's 8-3 loss.

Most significantly, the 24-year-old sidearming right-hander threw just 42 pitches, 30 for strikes. Manager Bob Brenly has said Kim must cut down his pitch count to become a starter. He was known to throw 30 or more pitches in an inning as a closer.

"BK was fantastic today,'' Brenly said. "He's always been a very quick learner and very coachable. We told him what he needed to improve on from his last start, and today was a tremendous step in the right direction. ... That's what we envision him doing for us all season.''

The South Korean pitcher has wanted to be a starter since he came to the Diamondbacks in 1999, and arrived at spring training in high spirits after Brenly agreed to give him a chance.

"I'm more comfortable than my last outing,'' Kim said through an interpreter. "I'm more focused. I'm trying not to think too much.''

He allowed three runs on four hits and walked two in two innings against the Chicago White Sox in his first spring appearance Sunday.

Kim threw just 15 pitches in the first two innings Thursday. He gave up a triple down the left-field line to Julio Ramirez with one out in the third, then struck out pitcher Mickey Callaway and got Alfredo Amezaga to bounce out to third to end the threat.

"He threw strikes, plain and simple,'' catcher Chad Moeller said. "He threw his fastball for a strike and his slider was also much better. I think he was over the nerves, also. I think he was able to relax a little bit more this time.''

Callaway, trying to win the No. 5 spot in the Angels' rotation, allowed one run on two hits in three innings. He struck out two and walked one.

Anaheim scored six runs off Armando Reynoso in the seventh, three on an inside-the-park home run by Jeff Guiel.

Guiel hit a fly ball to the right-field wall, where Mark Little and Doug DeVore collided and the ball bounced away. DeVore misplayed a ball in almost the same place Wednesday. Little stayed in the game briefly, then left with a bruised right thigh.

The game matched the last two World Series champions, but only two regulars were in the Anaheim lineup.

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