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MIN@BOS: Pelfrey hurls three shutout frames vs. Sox

Up 2-1 in the bottom the ninth on Wednesday, it looked as though the Tigers would grab their second win against the Twins, but that changed as a two-run double by the Twins' Eduardo Escobar handed Minnesota its first victory of 2013.

Detroit will look to bounce back with Rick Porcello, making his first start of the year on Thursday at 1:10 pm ET in the final game of the series.

Manager Jim Leyland had high hopes for the right-hander going into the season, impressed by Porcello's strong 4-1 record through six Grapefruit League starts. Porcello snagged 21 strikeouts to the tune of a 3.00 ERA through 24 innings.

"[Porcello] looked awful good. I think he's got some things figured out. He looks good, and hopefully he'll carry that into the season, because he looked very, very good this spring -- really good -- and I think he will.

"It's the same game. You're just adding a third deck [of seats]. Everything you're doing in Spring Training, you're doing for a reason. I think you just have to keep that muscle memory."

He'll face off against Twins' starter Mike Pelfrey, who will make his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery in May. Pelfrey stayed healthy through Spring Training despite being just 11 months removed from the operation, but has yet to round into form. The 29-year-old was 1-2 with a 6.38 ERA through 18 1/3 spring innings.

"It's going to be a big moment for him. A lot of hard work goes into that. He had to really push it to the limit," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But there's always fear involved when you do something like that to your arm. But you have to push through that fear, and even if you feel something in your elbow, it's probably just something breaking loose that was knotted up from surgery. So that's a fear all of them face. But for him to work as hard as he has and just reaching back and letting go, is just incredible."

Twins: Torii on fire
Gardenhire had a lot to say about his former player, Torii Hunter, on Wednesday. Gardenhire's been impressed with the center fielder's 4-for-9 start against his club.

"He's game-on. He's hit the ball well against us, just like he has against a lot of teams," Gardenhire said. "He brings an element to their baseball team. It's about the winning now. He's played a lot in his career, and has made a lot of money, and still loves the game but is trying to find that ring."

Tigers: Fielder freeze
Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder went 0-for-4 in Wednesday's loss against the Twins.

"He's in very good shape," Leyland said after Fielder went 2-for-4 on Opening Day. "I mean, he worked very hard this winter. He's got a regimen that he does with somebody, but he's in tremendous shape. He was bouncing around real good."

Worth Noting
• Hunter enters Thursday's game with 1,990 hits during his major league career. Hunter could become the 14th active player in the Major Leagues who has hit the 2,000-hit milestone.

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