Kazmir removed early as precaution

Left-hander strikes out five over four innings vs. Seattle

Kazmir removed early as precaution

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Scott Kazmir insisted he's healthy. Over and over again.

He was removed an inning early from his start on Saturday -- a 7-6 loss to the Mariners -- and seen twisting and turning in the dugout as if confirming discomfort from an abdominal muscle. He reluctantly conceded he felt something, but passed all the medical tests and vowed to make his next start in five days.

"It was one of those things, everything was going great and just something where I felt good to go back out there, but the guys made the decision to shut it down as precautionary," said Kazmir. "It's been a tough spring for the team. I definitely don't want to be on that [injured] list right now. I'm 100 percent good. I don't know how many ways I can keep telling you guys. We are good. Everything went great."

The club later said Kazmir was suffering from cramps due to dehydration.

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Reliever Adam Liberatore was given unlimited warmups by plate umpire Carlos Torres after a visit by manager Dave Roberts, as a replacement for an injured pitcher would. Torres then relayed the information to the Mariners' bench.

"Might have been something was late -- how do you put it? -- late commitment to the bullpen, but we're good," Kazmir explained.

Roberts, dealing with an injury siege of immense proportions, can hardly afford to lose his No. 2 starter, too.  

"He just had something inside of his abdomen and some type of discomfort," Roberts said. "I think could have went out there again, but where he was at with his pitch count (70) -- honestly, I don't know the details, but we decided to get him out. There shouldn't be any change going forward. The tests they did right after let the training staff know it's not serious. I don't see it being a problem, but we'll know more tomorrow."

He's supposed to be the replacement to No. 2 starter Zack Greinke in a rotation that has already lost Brett Anderson, is still waiting for the rehabbing Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy, and in recent weeks lost fifth-starter candidates Mike Bolsinger and Brandon Beachy.

"No doubt I understand the way this camp has gone for everyone," Kazmir said when reporters repeatedly pressed him about an injury. "It was something completely minor, it was like, 'I'm ready to go.' That's all it was. All the tests went well, everything is awesome. We are definitely good."

When he was on the mound, Kazmir started slowly as he did in his last start, opening the game by allowing a pair of extra-base hits and two runs. He said "something clicked" warming up for the second inning and retired 10 of the final 12 batters he faced.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.