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Gardenhire pleased with Pelfrey, Deduno

Gardenhire pleased with Pelfrey, Deduno

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Mike Pelfrey turned in his best outing of the spring on Sunday in a 1-1 tie with the Phillies at Hammond Stadium, tossing three hitless innings.

Pelfrey displayed better tempo throughout his start but wasn't pleased about walking two batters. He threw 35 pitches with 20 going for strikes, including one strikeout.

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"I'm happy with the pace, but the walks were frustrating," Pelfrey said. "But I have about four more starts, so it's something I'll continue to try to get better. But I thought my command was much better than my last outing."

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he could also tell that Pelfrey's pace is starting to get better while on the mound. It was something Pelfrey struggled with last year in his first season back from Tommy John surgery.

"Pelfrey was good," Gardenhire said. "That was nice to see. He worked pretty quick and threw the ball over."

Pelfrey added that his arm felt strong during his outing and thought he could've gone deeper into the game, but he was scheduled to throw three innings after throwing 2 1/3 against Baltimore in his last start on Wednesday.

"I felt good walking off, and I think that's the biggest thing you want to do," Pelfrey said. "I think next time I'll be on the normal five-day routine with more pitches and more innings. So with four left, if you add an inning to each, that's seven innings, and I think I did that just [two times] last year. So that'll be good."

Gardenhire was also pleased with Samuel Deduno's outing, as the right-hander also threw three scoreless innings. Deduno, who is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, now has a 1.35 ERA in three Grapefruit League outings.

"Sammy's stuff was filthy again," Gardenhire said. "Our catcher commented the ball was coming out of his hand pretty good. [Kurt] Suzuki liked that. He said, 'Filthy stuff.'"

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

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