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Blackley staying loose after rough inning

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Just two days removed from a forgettable outing, Travis Blackley was not scheduled to throw a bullpen Sunday. But he did so anyway out of eagerness to get back on track.

Blackley faced eight Giants hitters and allowed seven to reach base in just 1/3 of an inning Friday, with all seven scoring.

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"It's embarrassing," Blackley said. "It really is. At the same time, I had to keep positive knowing I'm still working stuff out. I'm pretty sure it can't get worse than that. I'm putting too much pressure on myself. Today, I just wanted to figure out a lot of things."

For starters, Blackley completely let go Sunday, something he was unable to do Friday after experiencing stiffness in his pitching forearm -- a new feeling for him he said was possibly a result of resting his arm longer than normal during the offseason before overdoing it in his first live batting practice session.

"I was really good that day, really pumped to face hitters," he said. "But then all of a sudden my forearm was real tight. It was better by Friday, but thinking that it was going to hurt, even though it didn't at that point, really affected me. I wasn't finishing the pitch. So today I just had to throw it all out of there and go at it, and she starting working again. I was able to trust everything again."

Blackley felt so good that he threw a handful of curveballs, his bread-and-butter pitch he had used just once until Sunday. His other pitches are better, he says, when he can throw the curveball for a strike.

The 30-year-old Aussie, who has a decent shot of making the team as a long reliever, hopes to continue throwing more bullpens in between his outings, just to stay loose. And he wants his next outing to come yesterday.

"I could do it today," he said. "It's just going to take one inning of three up, three down, and I'm back."

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