Burton, Perkins will split closer duties

The two will split the closer job until Matt Capps returns.


Jared Burton

Photo: Al Behrman, Associated Press

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Lefthander Glen Perkins earned the save Friday. Righthander Jared Burton earned the save Sunday and Monday. Expect both to get their chances to close games with Matt Capps on the 15-day disabled list.

"We're going to mix and match and see how it goes," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Monday before the 4-1 victory over the White Sox.

When the bullpen was healthy, Burton, with his split-fingered changeup, worked the seventh inning, and Perkins, with his 95-miles-per-hour fastball, worked the eighth. Neither considers the revised role a big deal. Many set-up men enter games with runners on base, so they feel they are battle-tested.

"It's been based on matchups anyway," said Burton, who pitched a scoreless ninth Monday for his second career save, "so I guess we'll move back to eighth and ninth and just take it in stride. You just have to look at it as just another inning and know that the pressure is on [the opponent]. They are the ones that are losing."

The challenge will be for the other relievers, such as righthanders Alex Burnett, Jeff Gray and Jeff Manship to handle duties in the seventh and, perhaps, eighth inning when called upon.

Gardenhire said the Twins will be careful using Burton in back-to-back games, given his injury history. That suggests Perkins could get a few more opportunities.

"[Setting up] is the same situation as it is at the end," said Perkins, who worked a scoreless eighth on Monday. "You just need to get outs."

Cortisone for Capps?

Capps said he expects to receive a cortisone injection for his ailing right shoulder after an arthrogram taken Monday showed no structural damage. Capps was relieved about the diagnosis.

"After a week of not throwing, I expected it to be better," he said. "When it wasn't, I was a little more alarmed."

The Twins had hoped that rest would be all Capps needed, and Capps was eager to get back on the mound during the middle of last week. He never has had a cortisone injection, and he pitched with discomfort last season.

"He hasn't been hurt much in his life," General Manager Terry Ryan said. "I was hoping we could avoid the disabled list, but we were unable to."

Once Capps has the injection, he'll need a couple of days for the medication to work its way through the shoulder. He then hopes to begin a throwing program by the weekend, with an eye toward rejoining the team after the All-Star break.

Robertson ready

Lefthander Tyler Robertson, who was called up from Class AAA Rochester on Monday, began his pro career as a starter but was moved to the bullpen after the 2010 season. As a reliever, he no longer throws his curveball but survives on a fastball clocked in the low 90s, slider and changeup.

Robertson was 2-2 with 3.77 ERA at Rochester with 33 strikeouts in 282/3 innings.

"I'm confident that if I throw the ball the way I was throwing down there I'll be fine," said Robertson, the Twins' third-round pick in 2006.

Millers uniforms unveiled

Drew Butera, Brian Dozier and Josh Willingham modeled the Minneapolis Millers uniforms the team will wear Saturday when the Twins turn back the clock to 1951. The Twins will wear the uniforms during the evening game of a day-night doubleheader against the Royals. The Royals will wear Kansas City Blues uniforms.

"Very comfortable," Willingham said of the Millers threads.

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