The 31-year-old Spaniard, who won a third Copa Claro title in Buenos Aires last week, claimed a 7-6 6-1 win to set up a clash with home favourite Thomaz Bellucci in the third round.
Brazilian Bellucci finished strongly after rallying from a set down to defeat Argentine Juan Monaco 4-6 6-3 6-3.
Fourth seed Tommy Robredo lost just three games as he strolled through on Wednesday with a win over Dusan Lajovic.
The 31-year-old Spaniard dismissed Serbian qualifier Lajovic 6-2 6-1 in just over an hour, dropping only nine points on serve.
Robredo, who opened the year with a fourth-round run at the Australian Open, is coming off a semi-final showing at last week's Copa Claro in Buenos Aires.
While eighth seed Pablo Andujar of Spain was granted a place in the quarter-finals when Martin Klizan retired with a bad stomach.
In the women's draw, top seed Klara Zakopalova progressed into the third round with a straight-sets win over Silvia Soler-Espinosa.
The 31-year-old Czech claimed a 6-4 6-1 victory in an hour and 17 minutes.
Also in the second round on Wednesday, Argentina's third seed Paula Ormaechea defeated Kiki Bertens of Holland 7-5 7-5, Poland's Katarzyna Piter saw off her German opponent Dinah Pfizenmaier 5-7 6-3 6-1 and Nastassja Burnett of Italy beat fellow qualifier Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium 0-6 6-3 6-2.
In the women's first round, fifth seed Kurumi Nara of Japan and Germany's Anna-Lena Friedsam both advanced.