Correia says layoff didn't impact subpar outing

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Kevin Correia made his first start on Thursday since heading home to San Diego to attend the birth of his third child, a boy named Benjamin, with his wife Diana.

Correia gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits over 2 1/3 innings in the Twins' 12-5 loss to the Red Sox. He said the layoff in between starts -- his last outing came on Feb. 27 against the Phillies before flying home after that game -- didn't have any bearing on his outing.

"I feel like I was stronger than I was last time out there," said Correia, who returned to Twins camp on Sunday and threw a bullpen session on Monday. "I don't think having a few days off really affected me at all."

Correia also wasn't helped by his defense, as Joe Benson lost a fly ball in the sun with two outs in the second inning. It was ruled as an RBI double by Drew Sutton. Correia also made a throwing error in the first inning that led to an unearned run scoring.

Overall, Correia came away mostly pleased with his outing and said he's not worried about his 6.75 ERA so far in three Grapefruit League outings. He had a 7.71 ERA in Spring Training with the Pirates last year before posting a 4.54 ERA during the regular season.

"I think by the end of spring I'll have that extra two to three inches of command that'll be the difference between giving up a hit to somebody and getting them out," Correia said. "That's what you hope, but everything feels pretty good. Every time out there you want to have a good outing, but I've learned to not let it affect me at all."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.