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M’s Lee still feels strain

New Seattle pitching ace Cliff Lee said Thursday he still feels the strain in his abdominal muscle following his second short throwing session on flat ground in three days.

The 2008 A.L. Cy Young winner said the injury felt a bit better after five minutes of light throwing in the outfield grass on a side field.

Asked if he could still feel the injury sustained March 15 in a collision behind the plate with Arizona catcher Chris Snyder, Lee said “a little bit, yeah.”

Split squads swept

Felix Hernandez said he feels very strong, and that’s good news for the M’s.

Hernandez struck out seven over five innings in a Seattle split squad’s 3-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians in Peoria, Ariz.

“I felt too strong today,” Hernandez said after walking four but allowing only three hits and two runs– one earned – in his third spring outing.

•Billy Butler went 3 for 5 and drove in two runs as the Kansas City Royals rallied with a five-run ninth to beat a Mariners split squad 8-7 in Surprise, Ariz.

Franklin Gutierrez went 3 for 3 with a home run and three RBIs for the M’s.


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