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Duchscherer continues progression

Orioles starter Justin Duchscherer passed another test today, exiting his live batting practice session pleased with the crispness of his pitches and encouraged by how he felt physically.

"I felt awesome," Duchscherer said. "Everything was good. I had a little trouble with my breaking ball a couple of days ago, and today it was great. I threw probably seven, eight of them, and I threw all of them for strikes."

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Duchscherer, who has made just five starts since 2008 because of various injuries and ailments, is scheduled to throw in the Orioles' third Grapefruit League game against the Philadelphia Phillies next Wednesday in Clearwater, Fla.

"I feel like I'm not behind," he said. "The last couple of years, I've been behind. Just to be on regular schedule with everybody else, to do what they're doing, feels good. ... When I'm healthy, this is where I should be. The last couple of years, I haven't had that luxury. I feel like I'm exactly where I should be to be ready when the season starts."

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After finishing up his live batting practice session, Duchscherer consulted with head athletic trainer Richie Bancells, which was enough to prompt some questions because of the pitcher's injury history. However, Duchscherer simply asked Bancells to help him out with some stretches.

"I had Richie come in and stretch me to make sure I can minimize that [soreness] and keep going on my progression," he said.

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