© 2019 Elsevier Ltd This paper presents modeling of mechanical anisotropy in argillaceous rocks using an irregular lattice modeling approach, namely the rigid-body-spring network. To represent the mechanical anisotropy, new schemes are implemented in the modeling framework. The directionality of elastic deformation is resolved by modifying the element formulation with anisotropic elastic properties. The anisotropy of strength and failure characteristics is facilitated by adopting orientation-dependent failure criteria into the failure model. The verification of the improved modeling procedures is performed against theoretical model predictions for unconfined compression tests with various bedding orientations. Furthermore, excavation damage and fracturing processes in rock formations are simulated for different geomechanical configurations, such as rock anisotropy and tectonic heterogeneity. The simulated excavation damage characteristics are realistic and comparable with the actual field observation at a tunnel located in an argillaceous clay formation. The simulation results provide insights into the excavation damage zone phenomena with an explicit representation of fracturing processes.