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Kazmir exits with hip tightness, hopes to stay on track

Lefty tightens up during warmups, leaves in second inning
Special to MLB.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir left Monday's 10-9 loss to the Rockies with hip tightness after throwing one pitch in the bottom of the second inning. The left-hander said the tightness began during warmups, then spread down his left side.

"Everything just started tightening up on me," Kazmir said after leaving the game. "Pretty much every part of the hip and all the way to the glute, and everything. I couldn't fire my backside. I couldn't fire my back hip, my back leg. So there was no power, no direction and it's a tough way to pitch."

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir left Monday's 10-9 loss to the Rockies with hip tightness after throwing one pitch in the bottom of the second inning. The left-hander said the tightness began during warmups, then spread down his left side.

"Everything just started tightening up on me," Kazmir said after leaving the game. "Pretty much every part of the hip and all the way to the glute, and everything. I couldn't fire my backside. I couldn't fire my back hip, my back leg. So there was no power, no direction and it's a tough way to pitch."

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Kazmir has been dealing with the issue all offseason and through the spring, trying to build his flexibility after experiencing hip soreness that plagued him throughout 2016, which eventually extended to his neck.

"The frustration's through the roof right now," Kazmir said. "It's something I've been dealing with for a while. The treatment I get, the exercises I do, everything like that, and to be in the spot I'm in right now, is definitely a head-scratcher. I've come back from worse. I'm staying positive. I know what it takes to pitch to my full potential, and I'll keep working to do that."

Video: Outlook: Kazmir can bounce back from tough 2016

Kazmir is hopeful he can stay on track and not miss any Cactus League starts. He expressed his concerns to pitching coach Rick Honeycutt during his bullpen session before Monday's game, but despite losing about 10 mph on his velocity, he did not consider scratching his start.

"Even throughout the beginning of last year, I felt a little bit of that in some starts, and then it would all of a sudden loosen up, and the next thing I know, I'm throwing 95, 96," Kazmir said. "That's the most frustrating part, because I know it's in there. Not being able to get that full mobility, full range of motion, it's almost like I'm skipping a step in my delivery. It's just a tough way to pitch."

Kazmir faced three batters in the first inning, striking out leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon, yielding a single to left to DJ LeMahieu, then inducing Carlos Gonzalez to ground into a double play to end the inning.

Kazmir threw one pitch to Ian Desmond in the bottom of the second before manager Dave Roberts and assistant trainer Nathan Lucero went to the mound and told Kazmir they'd seen enough.

"I'm still waiting for the next step," Kazmir said. "I want to be able to go out there and get after it. Just throwing 60, 70 percent, the results might be good, but it's garbage to be honest with you."

Kazmir faced the Giants in his first start, allowing two runs (one earned) in 1 2/3 innings. He was 10-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 26 starts last season.

Ralston Cash relieved Kazmir in the second. He struck out Desmond looking, then gave up a triple and two homers to the next three batters before notching two more strikeouts to end the inning.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Scott Kazmir