– First two innings, then three, and now four. Mike Pelfrey can feel himself getting stronger, and so is his case for a spot in the Twins’ rotation.

Pelfrey allowed a first-inning run to the Red Sox in JetBlue Park, but then he smothered Boston’s offense for three more innings. The Red Sox rallied for two eighth-inning runs, however, in a 3-2 victory against the Twins’ split-squad team.

Kennys Vargas doubled home a run with a smash high off the center-field wall, and Danny Santana singled home another. But an eighth-inning walk, a couple of singles off Twins lefthander Aaron Thompson and a botched pickoff play allowed the Red Sox to score twice.

Pelfrey’s fastball touched 94 mph as he limited Boston to three hits and no walks while striking out three. In nine innings over three appearances, he has allowed only two runs, one earned.

“My secondary stuff wasn’t as sharp as it was before, but I was able to get people out,” Pelfrey said. “My fastball velocity, fastball command was pretty good. My arm strength is coming.”