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John Smoltz closing in on Red Sox debut

John Smoltz's minor-league rehab outing last week at Double-A drew mixed reviews, as scouts in attendance were far from impressed with his post-surgery stuff despite 3.1 innings of one-run ball.

He took the mound again yesterday at high Single-A and allowed one run over five innings. While there's no scouting report on his outing, it's safe to assume that Smoltz looked pretty decent while striking out six, walking zero, allowing just four hits, and throwing 52 of 73 pitches for strikes.

"I felt really good," Smoltz said. "I think I'm going to get a little more complete each time. For the most part, I'm really pleased with today's effort. I felt really fresh in the fifth inning, even though it's the longest stint I've had."

Smoltz has a 1.59 ERA and 10/0 K/BB ratio through three rehab outings and will now move up to Triple-A Pawtucket, where he's scheduled to make two starts before potentially being cleared to join the Red Sox's rotation.

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