KANSAS CITY -- The Twins entered Saturday's 5-4 loss to the Royals with a 5.04 team ERA. Only the White Sox had a worse ERA among American League clubs, but manager Ron Gardenhire remains confident his pitching staff will find its groove over the long haul.
"We've got good pitchers," Gardenhire said. "We know these guys have a track record. [Kyle] Gibson has stepped up and pitched well. The others have been a little inconsistent. [Mike] Pelfrey has got to get better. [Ricky] Nolasco is going to be fine and we think Phil Hughes is going to be fine. Kevin Correia obviously is a good pitcher. We think we have guys who can deliver. Now it's just a matter of getting it done on a consistent basis.
"We've been through some pretty brutal weather. Hopefully, they'll step up. We believe in them."
If Pelfrey finds his rhythm, it would be a big boost for the starting rotation. Pelfrey has a 7.98 ERA through three starts.
"Let's give him a chance," Gardenhire said. "We signed him for a reason. The guy is healthy. Right now, he's fighting it mentally. I know he's a veteran, but this game can really eat at you. We just have to give him a chance to regroup."
Pelfrey has issued 12 walks with only seven strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings.
"He has to throw the ball over," Gardenhire said. "His arm is fine. His stuff is fine. He's just not throwing it over enough and has to get better at it. We'll see."
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.