Simon reinjures groin (O’s lead 6-1)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Alfredo Simon was supposed to throw 60-65 pitches tonight, but he tweaked his groin again in the second inning and didn’t return for the third.

Simon was pitching for the first time since March 10. He’s totaled seven innings in three outings.

“The thing is my groin was bothering me a little bit in the second inning,” he said. “They asked me if I hurt myself a little bit and I said, ‘Yes.’ I feel strong, but in the second inning I tweaked my groin, so I stopped, and they’re going to see what’s going on.

“The pain stopped like three days ago, and I feel like I’ll be ready in like a week. I have to let it rest.”

Simon allowed one run and two hits, walked one and hit a batter. He threw 32 pitches, 19 for strikes.

Manager Buck Showalter said Simon remains in the competition for rotation spot, but he’s falling behind the other starters.

“I don’t really think about that,” he said. “When I go out there, I’m going to do the best that I can. I don’t put a lot of pressure in my mind. I know I’m ready to go. I’ll do the best I can to make the team.

“I’m going to be ready as soon as I can. I don’t think it’s that bad. It’s not going to take me that long to get ready. I’ll see what happens.

“I don’t want to rush that thing. I just want to be healthy when the season starts. That’s why I wanted to stop and be ready for the next couple of days.”

Simon is out of options. He could be traded later this spring or stashed on the disabled list rather than be exposed to waivers.

Meanwhile, Mike Wright has picked up the slack for Simon tonight. He returned for the sixth inning and struck out Eduardo Nunez after Brett Gardner’s leadoff single. Troy Patton replaced him with the Orioles leading, 5-1.

Patton hit Robinson Cano in the left hand, forcing the Yankees’ second baseman to leave the game.

Tonight’s attendance is 8,686, which is a new single-game record at Ed Smith Stadium.

Update:Robert Andino singled to score pinch-runner Xavier Avery and increase the Orioles’ lead to 6-1 in the sixth inning.

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