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Sports

March 15, 2013

Pelfrey struggles for Twins in loss to Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Mike Pelfrey is feeling good about his accelerated rehabilitation from reconstructive elbow surgery. Now, he needs to get the results he wants.

Pelfrey gave up five runs in his fourth spring training outing, and the Minnesota Twins lost to the Boston Red Sox 7-3 yesterday.

The big right-hander, who signed a one-year, $4-million contract with the Twins after five full big league seasons with the New York Mets, gave up six hits in just two innings.

“I fell behind in the count a lot,” Pelfrey said. “That’s what’s going to happen when you do that. I put myself in a lot of bad spots. I didn’t make quality pitches. When you don’t do that, you’re not going to get results.”

Pelfrey had Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow on May 1. Typical rehabilitations from the surgery take about a full year. Pelfrey said he pushed his rehab in order to be ready for the regular season April 1.

“The best thing I can say about today is I walked off feeling good,” Pelfrey said. “I felt like I could have gone back out there and thrown 30 or 40 more pitches.”

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he had no concerns with Pelfrey, who has a 7.45 spring ERA.

Pelfrey had a 2.29 ERA in three starts for the Mets early last season. He went 7-13 with a 4.74 ERA in 2011 and had his best season in 2010, when he was 15-9 with a 3.66 ERA in 33 starts with a career-best 113 strikeouts in 204 innings.

“All I know is he’s ready to go,” Gardenhire said. “He’s ahead of the curve. He’s throwing great. It’s nothing to do with the surgery and everything to do with throwing the baseball. He hasn’t been out there in 10 months. So he just has to find it. But I have no concerns. None.”

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