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Joakim Soria leaves game with sore elbow

Kansas City Royals' Soria winds up a pitch against New York Yankees during their MLB baseball game in Kansas City

Kansas City Royals closer Joakim Soria winds up a ninth inning pitch during the Royals’ win over the New York Yankees in their MLB American League baseball game in Kansas City, Missouri August 17, 2011. REUTERS/Dave Kaup (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

REUTERS

Royals closer Joakim Soria was forced from his appearance Sunday against the Indians by elbow soreness, the Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton reports.

Soria retired just one of the five batters he faced before departing and was charged with three runs. It was the third time in three spring appearances that he gave up at least one run.

Soria, of course, struggled mightily early last season amid concerns that he might be hurting. He did bounce back as the year went on, though at no point was he ever so dominant as he was in previous seasons.

The Royals spent some money to land big Jonathan Broxton as a backup to Soria this winter. They also have Greg Holland as a potentially outstanding late-game reliever, so Soria may not be as big of a loss as many would think. Still, it’s been a bleak spring in Kansas City, what with catcher Salvador Perez having been lost for at least the first couple of months and now Soria’s status up in the air.