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Worley overcomes rocky first in solid spring outing

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.

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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."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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