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Garza hurls two-inning simulated game

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MILWAUKEE -- Cubs pitcher Matt Garza threw a two-inning simulated game Friday at Miller Park and did well, although he struggled a bit with what manager Dale Sveum called "pinpoint-manship."

Garza, who strained his left lat during a live batting-practice session Feb. 17 and did not appear in a Spring Training game, was throwing in a game situation for the first time this year. He has not pitched in a regular-season game since July, and missed the second half of last season with elbow problems.

"Everything was coming out of his hand OK," Sveum said. "He was a little rusty."

His command was also off a bit, resulting in the lack of pinpoint control.

"That's just the first step to get out there," Sveum said of Garza, who faced two hitters in the simulated game.

This was the first of at least four games for Garza. Next step will be 45 pitches over three innings. If all goes well, the right-hander should be ready to return to the Cubs' rotation by mid-May.

Garza most likely will go to Double-A Tennessee for his next outing. Until then, you can find him in Sveum's office.

"He doesn't bother me," Sveum said of the energetic Garza. "He's entertaining."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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