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Crain pleased with progress

Crain pleased with progress

JUPITER, Fla. -- Jesse Crain's pitching line may not read like it, but the right-hander felt like his outing on Monday was a huge success.

Crain allowed one run on three hits in his one inning of work against the Marlins.

"By far, this is the best I've thrown," Crain said after his outing. "I threw all my pitches for strikes and my slider was a lot better today."

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Monday marked just the third outing of the spring for Crain, who missed nearly all of last season after he underwent shoulder surgery in late May.

The right-hander threw a total of 27 pitches in the one inning, which was higher than the Twins would have liked. Afterward, though, the coaching staff was quite encouraged by what they saw.

"He threw 27 pitches, but I bet 20 of them were really quality pitches," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The ball is really coming out of his hand good. It's to the point now where he's healthy. Now, it's about seeing how he rebounds."

Crain is not quite to the point where he can throw every two days, but the coaching staff feels he's getting closer to it. For Crain, it's been a slow process but one he's taking a day at a time. While he may not be back to full form, Crain said he's seeing progress each time he's out on the mound and Monday was another huge step.

"The more I get in [games], the more I'm getting used to being out there," Crain said. "My mechanics are getting better and more of my pitches are coming along."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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