FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Vance Worley settled down after a rocky first inning in his third outing of the spring in an exhibition game against Team Puerto Rico on Wednesday.
Worley gave up three hits and a run in the opening frame, but he then retired seven of the last nine batters he faced. He ended up surrendering two runs (three earned) on six hits over 3 1/3 innings with three strikeouts.
Worley said the key to his turnaround was ramping up his velocity, because he was frustrated by the hits he gave up in the first inning to Angel Pagan, Irvin Falu and Carlos Beltran.
"I started throwing harder because I was tired of giving up little bleeders and broken-bat hits," Worley said. "I thought the only way I could beat it was to throw harder and try to beat their swing."
Worley added it was a neat experience to pitch against Team Puerto Rico, which had several big league regulars in its lineup such as Alex Rios, Yadier Molina, Mike Aviles, Pagan and Beltran.
"It's a big deal for baseball to have these teams come in and play against Major League teams," Worley said. "They need their work to get ready for the tournament. So it's definitely cool to say I pitched against a different country."
With first start set, Diamond focused on pitch count
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Left-hander Scott Diamond said Wednesday he's scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut on March 18 against the Marlins at Hammond Stadium.
Diamond, who had a bone chip removed from his left elbow in December, threw his third bullpen session on Wednesday. He threw about 50 pitches and incorporated his curveball for the first time.
Diamond said he's excited he finally knows when he'll make his first start this spring, and will build his pitch count from there. It still remains unlikely he'll be ready to start the season, but Diamond said they're not looking quite that far ahead.
"The prediction was to get into a game by mid-March, so to have that date set helps me work toward another goal," Diamond said. "Then we'll just try to build up my pitch count as quick as possible."
Puerto Rico squad features Twins prospects
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins prospects Jose Berrios and Eddie Rosario both saw action for Team Puerto Rico in an exhibition game with the Twins on Wednesday.
"They were good," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "All we saw here was Rosario getting hits. I told him I'd kick his butt if he got a hit, but he did anyway. And Berrios was winging it just like he did with us. He just let it fly. So good for them. I bet they had the time of their lives standing over there with some pretty good players in that dugout."
Berrios, ranked as the club's No. 9 prospect by MLB.com, threw a scoreless inning in relief. The right-hander struck out one and allowed a single to Aaron Hicks.
Berrios, who posted a 1.17 ERA with 49 strikeouts and four walks in 30 2/3 innings in rookie-level ball last year, is expected to be used as a reliever with Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.
Rosario didn't start the game but replaced Irving Falu at second base in the bottom of the third inning. Rosario, who is the organization's No. 8 prospect according to MLB.com, went 1-for-3 with a single off Alex Burnett in the eighth inning.