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Results promising in Pelfrey's first rehab start

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire received positive reports on right-hander Mike Pelfrey's first rehab start with Triple-A Rochester on Friday.

Pelfrey, on the 15-day disabled list since May 2 with a strained left groin, gave up a run on five hits and a walk over five innings against Triple-A Columbus. He threw 81 pitches, with 53 going for strikes.

"He threw the ball well," Gardenhire said. "He threw the ball over the plate. He worked quick, and he was healthy. So we'll just keep moving forward from there and get his pitch count up."

Pelfrey is expected to make at least one or two more rehab starts before rejoining the Twins. Gardenhire said Pelfrey's velocity on Friday was about the same as it was before his groin injury.

"It was the same thing at about 91 [mph]," Gardenhire said. "We all know he can pump it up to 95. Radar guns can be a little wacky, though. We saw that on our last road trip. So it's hard to go by on those Minor League reports with his velocity. But he threw the ball great and worked quick."

Left fielder Josh Willingham also played in his first rehab game Friday night, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout for Rochester. Willingham, who is on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 7 with a small fracture in his left wrist, is expected to need plenty of at-bats, as he last played April 6.

"He got his swings in," Gardenhire said. "Nothing great. He was healthy, and his swing didn't bother him. So he'll just need more at-bats."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger.
Read More: Minnesota Twins, Mike Pelfrey, Josh Willingham