KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Slowed by a tender elbow, Tsuyoshi Wada made his delayed spring training debut for the Baltimore Orioles when he pitched two innings of relief for a split squad Sunday in a 2-2, 10-inning tie against the Atlanta Braves.
The 31-year-old left-hander, signed to an $8.15 million, two-year contract, allowed one hit, struck out three and walked none in the sixth and seventh innings.
“I was happy to finally get out there with my new teammates and compete,” Wada said through an interpreter. “It showed me I have a chance to do well at this level.”
Wada was 16-5 with a 1.53 ERA last season for Fukuoka of Japan’s Pacific League. He had a 33-13 record over the past two years with 337 strikeouts and 95 walks in 52 starts.
“I didn’t look like he had much anxiety,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “He was impressive. You can see why he’s had success.”
He allowed a run in the seventh on Joey Terdoslavich’s leadoff double, a wild pitch and Jordan Parraz’s RBI grounder.
“There were a bit of nerves,” Wada said. “I wasn’t too happy to give up a run and my pitch count was up a little bit. I will do better the next time.”
Wada missed the first two weeks of exhibition games after experiencing elbow soreness following a fielding drills. He received a cortisone shot and had his elbow drained in late February.
He did well against a pair of All-Stars in his opening inning. Wada struck out Martin Prado on three pitches to start the sixth and ended the inning by throwing a called third strike past Dan Uggla.
“Of course, the batter didn’t know who I am,” Wada said. “Hitters will be more prepared later.”
Atlanta’s Mike Minor stretched his spring scoreless streak to 14 innings, allowing two hits in five innings, striking out three and walking one.
“He’s been great,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “You can see the command and his secondary pitches are getting better and better.”
A first-round draft pick in 2009, he has given up seven hits during spring training with 10 strikeouts and four walks.
“I’m very pleased,” said Minor, who was 4-1 with a 3.83 ERA for the Braves after the All-Star break last year. “I tried to make it feel like an in-season game. My breaking pitches were better. If I have three really good pitches, I’ll feel good going into the season.”
Orioles starter Jason Hammel gave up one run, four hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings. Chipper Jones doubled off Hammel for his first extra-base hit of the exhibition season. Jones is 5-for-12 following an 0-for-10 start.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)