FORT MYERS, Fla. – Mike Pelfrey struck out five in three impressive innings Friday night to help the Minnesota Twins beat the Boston Red Sox, 2-0.
It was Pelfrey’s second straight scoreless outing following a shaky spring debut with his new team. Pelfrey, dumped by the Mets in the offseason, is coming off Tommy John surgery last May and competing for a spot in Minnesota’s rotation.
Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster went 3 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and five hits with two strikeouts.
Minnesota got to Dempster with two outs in the third. Aaron Hicks doubled and scored on Brian Dozier’s single. Ryan Doumit’s run-scoring single made it 2-0.
Brian Duensing, Josh Roenicke, Michael Tonkin and Tyler Robertson combined to pitch six scoreless innings for the Twins, giving up three hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
“Two goals completed here tonight,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said. “One was to get (Dempster) close to 70 pitches, which we did. And he went out and made an effort to pitch predominantly with his fastball. Of the (66) pitches I think he threw, only about 12 or 13 were cutters or sliders. The rest were fastballs, which was the intention.”
Dempster focused on his fastball to improve his arm strength.
“We’re out there practicing getting outs,” he said. “The more of a groove you can get in, the more comfortable you feel, the more you feel you can make your pitches. For the most part that generally translates over into the season. The last thing you want to do is be limping into the start of the season.”
DODGERS: Chris Capuano pitched four solid innings and Ramon Castro hit a two-run homer before the split-squad game against Cincinnati was rained out with Los Angeles leading 3-1 at Glendale, Ariz.
ORIOLES: Right-hander Kyle McPherson gave up three runs in the third inning and Baltimore held on for a 6-3 victory against Pittsburgh at Bradenton, Fla.
CUBS: Scott Hairston homered before the game against a Cincinnati split squad was rained out in the second inning with the score 1-1 at Goodyear, Ariz.
ANGELS: Joe Blanton got two innings of work, allowing one run and two hits before the game against Arizona was rained out with the score 1-1 in the bottom of the third at Tempe, Ariz.
ATHLETICS: Josh Donaldson broke out of an 0-for-15 slump with a pair of long home runs as the game against Seattle was rained out in the top of the fourth inning with the Athletics ahead 12-1 at Peoria, Ariz.
WHITE SOX: With rain forecast, Jake Peavy pitched a simulated game rather than wait for the exhibition against San Diego that was rained out after three innings at Glendale, Ariz.
RAYS: Evan Longoria hit a two-run double, helping Tampa Bay beat Philadelphia 3-2 at Port Charlotte, Fla.
BLUE JAYS: Josh Johnson struck out five in 32/3 perfect innings, leading Toronto past an Atlanta split squad 7-1 at Kissimmee, Fla.
MARLINS: Nathan Eovaldi allowed one run in four innings and John Maine followed with two scoreless innings to help Miami beat the New York Yankees 6-1 at Jupiter, Fla.
TIGERS: Max Scherzer struck out six in 22/3 hitless innings as Detroit defeated the New York Mets 3-2 at Lakeland, Fla.