KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A run was in, the tying run was on base, and Salvador Perez had just pummeled a pitch, though it turned into a lineout. Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson jogged to the mound Tuesday night, then offered a suggestion that Twins closer Glen Perkins found a little facetious.
“He just goes, ‘Why don’t we try a slider here?’ ” Perkins said of his short-lived ninth-inning troubles. “He didn’t come out to yell at me. He got his point across, and it was funny. I appreciate that. ... So I threw five sliders and the game was over.”
Perkins notched his 26th save in 29 opportunities this season, but his streak of 10 consecutive appearances without allowing a run was over. It was also the seventh time in his past eight outings — only five of which were save chances — in which he has allowed a base hit.
Which just goes to show how unimportant stray hits can be. Perkins already has allowed as many hits this season as he did last year, but he’s compensated for it with a spectacular 56-to-8 ratio of strikeouts to unintentional walks, the best of his career, and his home-run rate — just two in 45 innings — is near a career low.
“As long as I’m not walking guys and I’m getting strikeouts, I’m OK,” Perkins said. “You don’t want to allow runs, but I’ve limited homers and walks, and if I do that, [opponents] will need two or more hits to score. So I’ll take my chances.”
So will the Twins, even if, as Perkins admits, “I get a little stubborn with my fastball.”
“If he gets in the right spots, he can eat everybody up with that fastball,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “But still, you’ve got to use all your pitches, and that’s the point Andy made when he went sprinting out there. ... Guys can hit fastballs in this league, I don’t care how hard you throw it. When you start spinning it and you’ve got a good fastball like that, that’s when Perk’s really good.”
Mike Radcliff, the Twins’ vice president of player personnel, will be inducted into the Professional Scouts Hall of Fame on Saturday — by the Twin Cities’ other pro team.
The St. Paul Saints, whose ownership group, Goldklang Group, displays plaques for each member of the scouting hall, will honor Radcliff, who has worked for the crosstown Twins since 1987. Radcliff has served as area scout, Midwest supervisor, scouting director and, since 2007, as vice president, in charge of finding, evaluating and acquiring talent at the major and minor league level.
Radcliff, a University of Missouri graduate and native of Overland Park, Kan., was voted Scout of the Year in 2011. He will be honored before the Saints’ game against Wichita on Saturday night.
• For the first time since he suffered a strained oblique muscle on July 1, Joe Mauer took live batting practice Wednesday in Target Field’s batting cage, and felt no ill effects, the Twins said.
• Righthander Mike Pelfrey, out of action since undergoing elbow surgery in May, began a program of light throwing Wednesday. He’s not expected back this season.
• Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia returned to the Twins after missing Tuesday’s game for the birth of his son, Oswell. The new father probably wouldn’t have been in the lineup against Royals lefthander Danny Duffy anyway, but Gardenhire said he wanted to “let him kind of regroup and gather himself. He’s been through a lot lately. Let him breath a little bit, and maybe [we’ll] use him later in the game if we need him.”