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Morrow focuses on curveball against Tigers

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LAKELAND, Fla. -- Brandon Morrow has used each of his outings this spring to work on a different aspect of his repertoire.

During his first outing of the Grapefruit League season it was his changeup. The last start it was increased focus on fastball command down in the zone, and his outing Wednesday afternoon against Detroit was centered around the curveball.

Morrow threw first-pitch curveballs to each left-handed batter he faced and overall used it with more regularity than in previous starts. The goal is to begin fine-tuning it for the start of the regular season.

"We try to, especially the first three or four," Morrow said when asked if there is something specific he works on each spring start. "That's kind of been the thing, first-pitch curveballs to left-handers, changeups to those guys as well.

"Changeups to right-handers, maybe in some situations I wouldn't have used them and kind of putting yourself in uncomfortable situations as far as pitch selection. Using pitches that I would like to throw during the season at some point but I'm probably not all that confident in at the time. That's how you gain confidence in them."

Morrow's goal for Wednesday afternoon was to get through three innings of work, but he fell just short of that because of Toronto's lackluster defense. A pair of errors in the first inning led to an elevated pitch count, and Morrow was forced to depart just one batter into the third.

Despite that, Toronto's No. 2 starter allowed just one unearned run and one walk while striking out three. The fact that he was at least able to come out for the beginning of the third inning was another step in building his endurance.

"Getting out for the third inning is big because you get to sit down and stand up and get your eight warmups and make your pitches to get to the pitch count," Morrow said. "That's kind of the biggest thing, is to get at least into the inning we wanted to get to."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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