Wada struggles in first Grapefruit start

Wada struggles in first Grapefruit start

Wada struggles in first Grapefruit start
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Buoyed by a three-run second inning, Minnesota spoiled new Oriole Tsuyoshi Wada's first spring start, as the Twins cruised to a 5-0 win Tuesday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.

Twins reliever Anthony Swarzak led a fine display of pitching, holding the Orioles hitless over 3 2/3 innings as he continues to present himself as a possible starting option. The right-handed Swarzak issued three walks to go along with three strikeouts in a 59-pitch outing.

"I had a few misfires, but was able to get back to what I was working on, and that's always a good sign this early in the season," Swarzak said. "They want to try to get me stretched out is what I was told. I walked some guys and had to throw a few more pitches doing that."

Meanwhile, Wada struggled mightily in his second Grapefruit League appearance, and was charged with four runs on four hits and a pair of walks. The Japanese lefty was pulled after three innings in a subpar outing that he admitted could cost him a chance at heading north with the big club.

"I think so," Wada said through his interpreter when asked if he felt Tuesday was a step backward. "If I keep pitching like this, I know I won't be able to throw and be in the starting rotation, I might not even be able to throw in general [for the Orioles] if I keep up throwing like this. I have to work on it."

Orioles bullpen hopeful Troy Patton followed Wada with a perfect fourth, as the lefty increased his scoreless spring stretch to 9 1/3 innings. Twins reliever Jeff Gray followed Swarzak's outing with 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

Jamey Carroll paced the Twins' offense with a two-run double off Wada in the second inning. Center fielder Denard Span went 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.

Up next for the Orioles: The Orioles will send left-hander Dana Eveland to the mound Tuesday afternoon in Dunedin against the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05 p.m. ET. Eveland will be making his third spring start, his first since March 11, as the journeyman is still competing for a spot on the team. Alfredo Simon will also pitch for the first time since exiting his March 18 start against the Yankees with groin soreness. Toronto will send lefty Brett Cecil to the hill.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.