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03/05/11 7:00 PM ET

Kuo shows strides with live BP session

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo moved another step closer to his first spring game appearance on Saturday, when he made 20 pitches in live batting practice.

Kuo threw all of his pitches to Minor Leaguers Trent Oeltjen and Trayvon Robinson and sounded pleased with the results.

Kuo said he plans to throw a bullpen session Monday and could make his first game appearance Wednesday.

Kuo, on a deliberate schedule to keep his brittle elbow functioning, pitched only two innings last spring when he started the season on the disabled list.

Dodgers deal with camp bumps and bruises

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jamey Carroll had his right hand bandaged in ice after Saturday's 2-0 win over the Reds, but the Dodgers' infielder said he only bruised his index finger when a Jose Arredondo pitch nailed his third knuckle during a bunt attempt.

"It's a little swollen," said Carroll, who played the last month of the 2010 season with a broken tip of the same finger on his throwing hand. "They didn't X-ray it. They tested it and said they'll see how it is tomorrow."

On the pitch, Carroll bunted the ball fair, but the pitch was ruled a strike by umpire Brian Knight. Carroll was later retired.

Most of the Dodgers' medical news was good Saturday.

Reliever Kenley Jansen, who had his bell rung Friday when he slipped and fell during a fielding drill and was knocked woozy, had his regularly scheduled bullpen session without incident.

Marcus Thames is expected to resume outfield play as early as Sunday, manager Don Mattingly said. Thames has been resting his right heel the past four days after a flareup of plantar fasciitis.

Jay Gibbons, who missed four games with the flu and has been serving as designated hitter, also will soon resume outfield play, Mattingly said.

Kershaw finds form against Reds

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Clayton Kershaw continued his preparation for the Opening Day start by throwing four scoreless innings in Saturday's 2-0 Dodgers win over the Reds.

Kershaw allowed one hit, one walk with three strikeouts, needing only 43 pitches. He hasn't allowed a run in seven spring innings.

"I'll take it," said Kershaw. "At least I didn't walk the first guy this time [as he did in his first start]. I came out throwing strikes and got one extra inning. I mixed my pitches, threw everything for strikes at some point today. Overall, a good day of work and I hope to get better the next time out."

In the combined shutout, Kershaw was followed with single scoreless innings by non-roster relievers Lance Cormier, Jon Huber, Roman Colon, Wilkin De La Rosa and Oscar Villarreal for the save.

Dodgers prospect Vasquez works his magic

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The jury is out on Luis Vasquez as a pitching prospect, but he's quickly become a Dodgers clubhouse sensation with his sleight-of-hand card tricks.

The hard-throwing, 24-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic had most of the roster gathered around the long table in the middle of the clubhouse Saturday, dazzled by his stunts.

"He's amazing," said countryman Rafael Furcal.

Rookies in their first Major League camp are usually expected to low-key it around their elders, but Vasquez isn't shy.

"This is fun for me," he said. "I learned it from Jordan Pratt [a teammate at Class A Inland Empire in 2008] and we do it on the road, in the bus and it makes everybody laugh. The tricks are easy for me."

Vasquez said he occasionally teaches tricks to teammates, "but I keep some secrets to myself."

Vasquez was originally signed in 2005 and hasn't advanced past Class A, his progress delayed by Tommy John surgery that cost him the entire '06 season. But the Dodgers protected him last year because his fastball has been clocked in the high 90s.

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