FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It was one of those outings that Ricky Nolasco could only laugh about, and be glad it came during Spring Training and not during the regular season.
Nolasco, making his second-to-last Grapefruit League start to get ready for his Opening Day assignment against the White Sox on March 31, was shelled by the Mets in the Twins' 9-1 loss on Friday at Hammond Stadium. The right-hander gave up seven runs in the first inning on five extra-base hits, including three doubles, a triple and a homer.
Nolasco settled down after the first inning to get through two scoreless innings, but he needed more than 70 pitches to go just three innings after going five innings in his previous outing. He ended up allowing seven runs on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts in his three innings of work.
"I'm right there where I want to be, but obviously in that first inning, I was pretty terrible," Nolasco said. "I think I could've done better if I told them what was coming. So it's just Spring Training, so whatever. I bounced back and threw pretty decent the next two innings."
Nolasco is slated to make one more start this spring against the Pirates on Wednesday in a final tuneup before taking the mound on Opening Day for the third time in his career. Nolasco said the one thing he found solace in on Friday was that he didn't tire during his start, and that his arm feels just fine.
"It was kind of funny toward the end of it, I just kind of sat back and realized I still felt good," Nolasco said. "I wasn't really feeling tired so I feel good about that."