ARLINGTON, TEXAS - When the Twins watched rookie Glen Perkins drop his glove and grab his prized left arm in pain in the eighth inning Monday night, they had to think the worst.
Based on the initial diagnosis, Perkins is headed to the disabled list, but the injury is not as serious as it first appeared.
On a nightmarish night for their pitching staff -- in what really has been a nightmarish month -- the Twins suffered a 14-4 loss to the Texas Rangers and watched Perkins walk off the mound in obvious pain.
Perkins was diagnosed with cramping and a mild muscle strain in the back of his left shoulder.
Dr. Keith Meister, a Rangers team physician, examined Perkins immediately after the game and told the lefthander he had seen injuries like that before.
The good news is it didn't affect his shoulder socket or his elbow. It's more in the muscle at the back of Perkins' arm pit.
"He said look at two weeks [recover time]," Perkins said of Meister's diagnosis. "He doesn't think that whatever it is, is torn through. He said the worst case he's seen is 12 weeks. He said barring a surprise, we're looking at a couple weeks."
Manager Ron Gardenhire said Perkins will be placed on the DL and likely will undergo a magnetic resonance imaging exam. The team was still deciding who would take Perkins' roster spot.
Perkins, 24, was working mop-up duty after the Rangers had scored seven runs against Carlos Silva and seven more against Julio DePaula, with four runs against him coming on a Gerald Laird grand slam.
Perkins pitched 2 1/3 innings, but after striking out Frank Catalanotto for the second out in the eighth inning, he walked behind the mound, dropped his glove and bent over in pain.
"It feels like it keeps cramping up," Perkins said. "I've pulled my quad muscle and my hamstring, and it feels kind of like that. But there's some dull pain back there for sure."
Juan Rincon came on for an emergency relief appearance.
Perkins, a former Stillwater High School star, was a first-round draft pick out of the University of Minnesota in 2004. He has blossomed into one of the Twins' best pitching prospects, and with Dennys Reyes out because of a left shoulder injury, Perkins was the only healthy lefthander in the bullpen.
In 12 relief appearances, Perkins has posted a 3.80 ERA.
On this road trip, the Twins bullpen has lost Jesse Crain, Reyes and Perkins because of injuries.
If April seemed like a charmed month for Twins pitchers, May has turned into a disaster.
One night after watching Ramon Ortiz spoil an otherwise terrific weekend in Milwaukee, the Twins saw Silva turn in his worst outing of the year.
Ortiz and Silva combined to go 5-2 with a 2.77 ERA in April.