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Kendrick happy with changeup vs. Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick had his changeup working splendidly for two innings Friday at Charlotte Sports Park.

He struck out three with three groundouts.

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"The first two innings were great," he said after allowing five hits, three runs, one walk with three strikeouts in four innings. "The changeup was good early. After that I was kind of burying it too much."

Kendrick's changeup is a big reason why he struck out more batters last season. He averaged a career-high 6.6 strikeouts per nine innings, a considerable jump from his 4.1 strikeouts-per-nine-inning average from 2007-11.

He thinks he can increase that number a bit more in 2013.

"I think can improve in all aspects of my game," he said. "But yeah, I think my changeup is going to get better. My slider is going to get stronger. I don't see why I can't get better."

Kendrick allowed three two-out runs in the third, so the day wasn't a complete success.

"It's something to build off of, that's for sure," he said. "It was nothing great, but I was happy to get my pitch count up and get through four."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }