Closer Perkins redeems himself as Twins edge Seattle

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 17, 2014 - 12:51 PM

Glen Perkins stranded the tying run at third in the ninth inning and collected his 11th save as the Twins won for the fourth time in five games.

Glen Perkins analyzed his blown save on Thursday, realized his biggest mistake and made a critical adjustment one day later: Pitch worse.

Hey, it works for him.

Perkins hung a few sliders, spiked one past his catcher — and stranded the tying run on third base, bouncing back nicely to save the Twins’ 5-4 victory over Seattle at Target Field.

“That’s just the luck of the draw. Yesterday I didn’t have any luck. Today I threw a lot worse pitches than yesterday, and I get two outs out of it,” Perkins said after earning his 11th save of the season in 13 opportunities. “That’s baseball.”

Kyle Gibson pitched seven strong innings, allowing only one run to pick up his first victory in a month, and Brian Dozier smashed an eye-high pitch into the left-field seats, making him just the 11th player in Twins history to record 10 home runs in the season’s first 40 games. But none of it would have mattered had Perkins not relied upon a slider he admitted wasn’t at its best.

Michael Saunders led off the ninth inning with a ground-ball single, and Perkins moved the potential tying run to ­second base by bouncing a 56-foot slider past catcher Kurt Suzuki. But facing the heart of Seattle’s lineup, and trying to corral a slider that wasn’t going where he wanted, the Twins closer got Robinson Cano to ground out, Corey Hart to pop up and Justin Smoak to tap back to him, putting his uncharacteristic meltdown against Boston in the past.

“[When] a guy’s on third base, you can’t go to one pitch. I saw yesterday how they ambushed the fastball, so I wanted to mix in more sliders,” Perkins said after pitching out of trouble. “They weren’t good ones, but it kept them off [balance] enough to get them out.”

“The ninth inning is never easy, I don’t care who’s out there,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “That’s a high-profile job. The tension level goes up, but he got them out when he had to. We had the infield in, but he made a great pitch.”

Gibson, now 4-3 after his first victory since April 17, made a lot of them, a big relief after losing three consecutive games and being battered by Detroit last weekend. He allowed only one run in seven innings, and pitched out of a bases-loaded situation in the first inning. But the biggest out might have been his last.

Gibson was approaching 100 pitches and protecting a 5-1 lead with two runners on base and two outs in the seventh. Up to the plate walked Cano, the Mariners’ $240 million man, a hitter who had already lined a sharp single and missed a home run by a foot or two off the center-field fence.

Gibson’s biggest weapon? “The fence was thankfully a foot high enough to keep the ball in,” he joked.

Actually, it was his changeup, a pitch working so well Friday that Gardenhire chose to stick with his young starter in a situation he might not have in the past. Even Gibson thought he might be pulled after Saunders’ two-out single brought Cano up in an RBI situation.

But “I thought Gibby’s ball was still coming out of his hand really good. I was looking at that point for him to go through the eighth inning,” Gardenhire said, though he eventually changed his mind about another inning. “My thought wasn’t [about] Robbie Cano, it was getting him through the eighth.”

Cano grounded to second and the threat was over, for the moment. Seattle scored three off reliever Caleb Thielbar in the eighth, setting up Perkins’ high-wire act.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 3 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 2
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Dallas 117 FINAL
Orlando 92
New York 80 FINAL
Toronto 83
San Antonio 87 FINAL
Houston 96
Miami 104 FINAL
Memphis 98
Minnesota 113 FINAL
Chicago 112
Phoenix 105 FINAL
Utah 100
Sacramento 93 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
Denver 112 FINAL
Golden State 119
Portland 99 FINAL
LA Clippers 89
Dallas 3 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Tampa Bay 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Colorado 7
Carolina 3 FINAL
Edmonton 6
Columbus 1 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 4th Qtr 8:12
California 35
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Houston 1 FINAL
Chicago 2
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who wins and loses in football this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close