SARASOTA, FLA. – Adalberto Mejia is down 13 pounds, the result of an offseason workout program that was a little different than usual.
“I didn’t push any cars during the offseason,” he said with a smile, “but I pushed tires.”
The smile came from a comparison to righthander Jose Berrios, whose video of him pushing a truck during an offseason workout was the talk of the organization. Mejia’s workout included lifting tractor tires end over end.
He is noticeably lighter, and he kept a tidy line during the Twins’ 1-1 tie with Baltimore.
Mejia gave up two hits and a walk during two scoreless innings. The two hits were a double to Manny Machado in the first and an infield single to Mark Trumbo, who beat the shift with a slow chopper to second.
Of the 30 pitches Mejia threw, 21 were strikes. That’s not bad. But Baltimore fouled off nine pitches in the two innings. Mejia got frustrated at times last year when hitters fouled off pitches to keep at-bats alive, which affected his focus.
“The biggest thing I learned [last season] was focusing inning by inning, pitch by pitch,” he said, “and calm down when I’m out there.”
The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Kennys Vargas scored on a sacrifice fly by Gregorio Petit. Baltimore’s Austin Wynns tied it in the seventh with a home run off Gabriel Petit.
Twins pitchers had to work on crisis management. Tom Hackimer replaced Trevor Hildenberger in fifth — both are sidearmers — and struck out Jonathan Schoop to end the inning with the bases loaded. Taylor Rogers loaded the bases in the sixth but got out of the jam. Jake Reed loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth but got a force play at the plate and struck out two to escape.
And minor leaguer Matt Magill stranded two in the ninth — the Orioles’ 13th and 14th runners stranded — when the game was declared a tie.
La Velle E. Neal III