Pelfrey did strike out Boston’s Mike Napoli at the end of a 10-pitch at-bat with the bases loaded.
“I think he hung in there,” Pelfrey said. “He kept fouling balls off. I kept trying to make pitches and trying to get him out. Finally, and luckily, I got him with one.”
But Boston’s Will Middlebrooks then cleared the bases with a double. Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-for-3 with an RBI, a walk and two runs scored for the Red Sox.
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster struck out three and gave up one run — a homer — off three hits in four innings of work. He struck out three and walked two, finishing his fourth spring appearance with a 2.13 ERA.
“I got some really good work in,” Dempster said. “I started off a little bit slower than I would have liked, but I kept getting better as the game went along. I just have to continue to try to get better and build off it as much as I can.”
Twins outfield prospect Joe Benson, who had been slumping at the plate this spring training, upped his spring batting average to .195 by going 3 for 4 with a walk and a run scored.
“He’s confident,” Gardenhire said. “Hopefully he can stay that way.”
NOTES: The Twins optioned RHP Kyle Gibson and LHP Caleb Thielbar to Triple-A Rochester and reassigned RHP Anthony Slama, C Kyle Knudson and IF James Beresford to minor league camp. Gibson, 25, had been expected to contend for a rotation spot this spring. He is 18 months removed from Tommy John surgery on his elbow and needs more time to develop in the minors, Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. “His velocity was impressive,” Ryan said. “The power on his slider was impressive. He has had a good changeup. Now it’s a matter of doing a little damage control and location and a little time. The location is probably not where he wants it. Between the angle and his size and his pitches and the ability to spin the ball, I don’t think there’s any question he’ll be back, it’s just a matter of when.” ... Red Sox SS Stephen Drew remains out and day to day because of post-concussion issues. ... SS Jose Iglesias started Thursday and went 1 for 3 with a double and a run scored.