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Alburquerque's strong outing shows improvements

KANSAS CITY -- Al Alburquerque's outing Saturday marked his first perfect inning since July 5. The fact that his outing was spread out over two innings made it all the more surprising.

It was a sign that Alburquerque might be feeling more comfortable repeating his mechanics.

Alburquerque said Sunday morning he felt comfortable with his pitches. The biggest key for him was the slider, which has been a point of emphasis for him over the last couple weeks.

It's actually two different pitches now. Alburquerque had been throwing a harder slider, sometimes as high as 90-91 mph, that had been flattening out. He has since tweaked it to get a sharper break and more deception, but he's keeping the hard slider anyway.

Between the two versions, Alburquerque threw 12 sliders out of 15 pitches Saturday night. Nine of those sliders went for strikes, five of them swings and misses.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.
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