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Newz Forum: BASEBALL: Prior's return near as he strikes out 10

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posted on May, 31 2004 @ 04:20 AM
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Chicago ace Mark Prior struck out 10 and allowed three hits and two runs in 5 1-3 innings while making a rehab start for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs on Sunday. Prior, who is recovering from an inflamed right Achilles' tendon and sore right elbow, has been on the disabled list all season.

"I felt I was my normal self," he said. "I felt good. I think that's the most important thing, is I felt good. I feel like if I need to take the next step, I could do it right now."

Prior flew to Chicago immediately after the game and will meet Monday with Cubs president Andy MacPhail, general manager Jim Hendry, manager Dusty Baker and the training staff to determine his next step.

If they decide he's ready to return to the big leagues, Prior would pitch at Wrigley Field against the Pittsburgh Pirates next weekend.

The right-hander would not say if he expects to come off the DL this week.

"I think today was the first time that I felt as good as I did last year in competitive pitching," he said. "I was working the ball the way I wanted to. I was doing things.

"If that's the next step or another start here, whichever one, I'm confident and I'm very happy with the way I threw the ball today."

Sunday's start was Prior's third in the minors. His first two were at Lansing in the Class A Midwest League.

He struck out six of the first seven batters and threw 79 pitches, 51 for strikes. He also gave up two long home runs to Pete Zoccolillo and Marshall McDougall.

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