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Friday, 05 April 2013 11:59

Pelfrey, power hitting lead Twins past Tigers

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Mike Pelfrey pitched into the sixth inning in his Minnesota debut, Josh Willingham and Trevor Plouffe hit home runs and the Twins took the season-opening series from the Detroit Tigers with an 8-2 victory Thursday. Pelfrey (1-0) wasn't charged with any earned runs, taking the mound less than a year after Tommy John surgery. The former New York Mets first-round draft pick was given a 3-2 lead when Willingham and Plouffe went deep against Tigers starter Rick Porcello (0-1). Four relievers kept the Twins in front for four innings, until they broke the game open with a five-run eighth against Brayan Villarreal. Tigers relievers gave up 10 runs over 10 innings in these three games. Miguel Cabrera got another RBI, his fourth of the year, but the Tigers had another quiet afternoon at the plate. Friday, April 5 is Opening Day at Comerica Park. The Tigers start a 3-game set with the New York Yankees. Pre-game at 12:40 p.m. on 97.7 WTGV-FM. 
 
Meanwhile, the Detroit Tigers and former closer Jose Valverde have agreed to terms on a minor-league contract. Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski made the announcement before Thursday's game at Minnesota. Valverde is a three-time All Star who led the AL with 49 saves in 2011 but wasn't as effective in 2012. He struggled badly in the postseason, allowing 11 hits, nine runs and two homers over four appearances, recording only eight outs. The 35-year-old became a free agent and wasn't re-signed. Valverde will report to Detroit's spring training facility in Lakeland, Fla., for some work before being assigned to Triple-A Toledo. Dombrowski said there's no timetable or certainty for Valverde to join the Tigers.