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Seattle Mariners

Lee could start before end of April

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The Mariners left-hander Cliff Lee will likely get his first start of the season before the end of the month, according to The Associated Press.

Lee, who is working his way back after straining his abdomen during spring training, tossed six shutout innings for Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday. He allowed three hits, struck out four and walked none against Salt Lake.  He threw 68 pitches.

Lee retired the first nine batters he faced, then allowed two hits in the fourth inning. Peter Bourjos led off with a bunt single and Freddy Sandoval followed with a lazy fly ball that center fielder Ezequiel Carrera lost in the sun for a hit. Lee then got Michael Ryan to ground into a double play and retired Terry Evans on a fly ball to center to end the inning.

While also in rehabilitation for his injury, Lee learned the league overturned his five-game suspension for throwing a pitch at a batter during spring training. With rehab going as planned and the suspension out of the way, Lee could start for the Mariners before the end of month, or possibly against the Texas Rangers on May 2.

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