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Lopez sore, but okay for Sunday


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 5, 2001

ST. PETERSBURG -- Any fears that Albie Lopez might miss Sunday's scheduled start against Boston were allayed when the Rays' top pitcher walked limp-free through the clubhouse Wednesday afternoon.

Lopez said he felt a "little sore" after mildly spraining his left knee Tuesday night but said the knee didn't swell during the night.

"I was laying in bed this morning and I knew that first step was going to hurt," Lopez said. "It was really aching but it's kind of what I expected."

Lopez hurt his knee in the second inning when a ligament stretched across his kneecap before snapping back into place as he braced for a bouncer back to the mound. After several minutes of flexing his leg, Lopez stayed in the game and pitched eight innings, giving up one run.

Juan Guzman, recovering from rotator cuff surgery last season, had a rough outing Wednesday in an extended spring training game, giving up nine runs in three-plus innings.

"My arm strength isn't there yet," he said. "It's getting better but I think I'm at kind of a plateau now."

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