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Updated: March 17th, 2011 5:37pm
Live from Florida, Day 29: Pavano, Capps stretch out pitch counts

Live from Florida, Day 29: Pavano, Capps stretch out pitch counts

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A rundown of the news, notes and quotes from Thursday at Minnesota Twins spring training:

Today's result

Tigers 4, Twins 3

Luke Hughes, starting at first base on Thursday, mashed his team-leading fifth home run of the spring.
• 2B Tsuyoshi Nishioka raised his spring batting line to .321/.346/.440 with a 1-for-3 performance.
• RHP Pat Neshek allowed home runs to right-handers Ryan Raburn and Miguel Cabrera in his only inning of work.

Pavano stretches out

Right-hander Carl Pavano stayed back in Fort Myers Thursday to pitch in a minor-league game against Boston Red Sox A-ballers.

Pavano, throwing to catcher Drew Butera, hurled 67 pitches over five innings, allowing four runs (two earned) off seven hits. He struck out three and walked nobody.

Afterward, Pavano tossed 15 more pitches in a bullpen session.

"It really doesn't bother me to pitch down there other than the fact that these guys are really aggressive and you think you've got them set up, and before you know it they're hitting a leaner off the warning track," Pavano said about pitching to minor-leaguers.

"I was throwing a lot of strikes," he added. "The guys put some good swings on some pitches that I left over the middle and overall I was happy. I kind of was out of whack in the pen a little bit and then I kind of put it together in the second, third inning, and then I kind of fell out of whack and that's why I threw (in the bullpen) after that last inning."

Despite having allowed zero runs this spring until Thursday, Pavano said he's been working through some mechanical stuff, but nothing out of the ordinary for this time of year.

"I've been fortunate in some of my starts," he said. "I know I haven't given up any runs, and I'm not thinking about that, but that Pirates start was a debacle. Guys were getting thrown out, the other team was running themselves out of innings. I don't think I've been throwing the ball particularly great, but I think I've been consistent and I've been getting better, so that's all that counts."

Numbers game

L-9: One of the Twins' top minor-league prospects, 17-year-old Miguel Sano, lined out to right field, hitting behind Joe Mauer in the first inning of Thursday's minor-league game. Sano, who hit .307/.379/.491 in rookie ball last season, is a massive kid for his age. He's listed at 6-3, 195 pounds, but he looks to be somewhere between 210-220 pounds.

4: The number of Twins relievers who threw two innings on Thursday -- Jeff Manship, Dusty Hughes and Carlos Gutierrez against the Tigers in Lakeland, and Matt Capps against minor-leaguers in Fort Myers.

In the past, Capps -- who, along with Joe Nathan, still doesn't know exactly what his role will be this season -- has actually ramped up to three innings during spring training, but the Twins will likely keep him to just two innings for now.

"I felt like today with what I did was more than enough to feel like get to where I need to be," said Capps, who threw 33 pitches (22 strikes). "I got pretty tired. I played catch twice and then went out and warmed up, got on the mound and then sat down. It's kind of crazy how tough it is to fire it up then sit down and then fire it up again when you are not used to it. I feel like I got my work in today."

Health watch

• C Joe Mauer (knee) caught two innings in a minor-league game on Thursday, and he is scheduled to catch in Saturday's home game against the Rays.

• OF Michael Cuddyer (foot) is scheduled to play 4-5 innings in a minor-league game on Friday, according to the Star Tribune.

Overheard

"I feel like I'm in pretty good shape. Jim Thome was talking to me the other day that I might be a filet and I think I might be a little bit more of a ribeye with fat on the edges."
-- Capps, using steaks as metaphors for his physique.

On deck

The Twins travel to Sarasota Friday night to play the Baltimore Orioles.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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