Spring training baseball

Red Sox 7, Twins 3

Mike Pelfrey gave up five runs in two innings as he tries to accelerate his return from Tommy John surgery, and Minnesota lost to Boston Thursday at Fort Myers, Fla.

Pelfrey had the elbow-reconstruction operation May 1 while with the Mets last season. Typical recuperation takes about year but he has pushed his rehab to be ready for opening day. He allowed six hits in his fourth start of spring training.

Boston's Will Middlebrooks had a three-run double, and Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-for-3 with an RBI, a walk and two runs scored.

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."

Blue Jays 17, Yankees 5

Josh Johnson allowed one run over three innings, Maicer Izturis had five RBIs, and Toronto routed New York at Dunedin, Fla.

Johnson, coming off a start last Friday in which he retired all 11 batters he faced, gave up two hits and struck out five. The right-hander is part of a revamped Toronto rotation that includes other offseason additions R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle.

The biggest challenge Johnson faced was sitting in the dugout for long stretches during a pair of big Toronto innings on a windy day with a game time temperature near 60.

Melky Cabrera drove in four runs for the Blue Jays, who lead 15-1 after two innings.

Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes threw 26 pitches at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa during his first batting practice session since hurting his upper back Feb. 18 during a defensive drill. He is set to pitch Monday in a simulated game.

"No physical issues," Hughes said. "Just a hair off with my command, but I sort of anticipated that. I felt like the ball was coming out pretty good. It was actually good to face a hitter for the first time since the last playoffs. A good first step."

The Yankees haven't ruled out Hughes missing his first regular season start.

"I rather it be one start than a bunch that pile up," Hughes said. "I feel good with what I'm doing. I'm going to make sure it's right before I do anything."

Hughes went 16-13 with 4.23 ERA in 32 starts for the Yankees last season.

"I think it's a pretty significant step," Girardi said. "We've just got to see where he's at. It's still really early to judge if he can be ready to start the season. I can't tell you if he's going to be there when we start or if he's going to have to miss a turn and be there the second start."

Tigers 9, Mets 1

Dillon Gee struggled with his command, giving up six runs in the New York's loss to Detroit at Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Gee allowed three hits, four walks and hit two batters in two innings. He also threw three wild pitches.

Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run single in his first spring training game back since leaving to play for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. He homered in one at-bat for the Tigers in an exhibition against Florida Southern on Wednesday.

Matt Tuiasosopo hit a two-run homer in the second inning for Detroit.

Tigers starter Doug Fister allowed just one run on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts over four innings.


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