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Mejia inconsistent in 2nd audition of spring

Seeking rotation spot, lefty throws two perfect frames around tough 2nd inning
Special to MLB.com

JUPITER, Fla. -- It was feast or famine for Adalberto Mejia in Thursday's 3-3 tie with the Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

Mejia recorded easy 1-2-3 innings in both the first and third of his three-inning stint. Second-inning struggles, however, muddied up his pitching line. Mejia allowed hits to the first three hitters he faced, including a home run to Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna. He coerced a double-play groundout from Breyvic Valera before allowing an RBI single to Oscar Mercado.

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JUPITER, Fla. -- It was feast or famine for Adalberto Mejia in Thursday's 3-3 tie with the Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

Mejia recorded easy 1-2-3 innings in both the first and third of his three-inning stint. Second-inning struggles, however, muddied up his pitching line. Mejia allowed hits to the first three hitters he faced, including a home run to Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna. He coerced a double-play groundout from Breyvic Valera before allowing an RBI single to Oscar Mercado.

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Mejia said he didn't do anything differently in the middle inning than the ones on either side of it. And for the most part, the left-hander was able to stay in control. He kept the ball on the ground, getting four ground-ball outs.

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"It was all the same game plan," Mejia said. " ... I felt good about my outing today. I'm working on keeping the ball down, to get more ground balls, so it felt good."

In three innings, Mejia allowed two runs on four hits. Ozuna's shot was the first hit allowed, and Mejia could only tip his hat to the power hitter.

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"I felt like I made a great pitch, but he just connected," Mejia said. "He's a great hitter."

Mejia was efficient in his second start of the spring, throwing 29 pitches, 21 for strikes.

"Overall, I felt good, I felt like I was commanding all my pitches," said Mejia, who added 12 pitches in the bullpen before calling it a day.

Mejia is battling for a spot in the Twins' starting rotation. The 24-year-old started 21 games last season for Minnesota, his first full year in the Major Leagues. He went 4-7 with a 4.50 ERA, striking out 85 batters over 98 innings.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com who covered the Twins on Thursday.

Minnesota Twins, Adalberto Mejia