Found June 07, 2012 on
Fox Sports North:
Kansas City Royals
While Minnesota's starting pitching is slowly coming around after a rough start to the year for the rotation, the Twins' bullpen has remained steady.The Twins' relievers demonstrated that once again on the recent road trip, capping it with four scoreless innings of relief in Wednesday's 4-2 win in the series finale against Kansas City. Jeff Manship, Jared Burton, Glen Perkins and Matt Capps relieved starter Nick Blackburn after five innings, allowing just two base runners neither of which advanced past first base in four scoreless innings of work.Perhaps the star of the bullpen this trip has been the right-hander Burton. Wednesday marked his third appearance of the six-game road trip, and he retired all nine batters he faced. That included four batters Wednesday, including three strikeouts. Eight of the nine batters Burton retired this trip were strikeouts. "The ball's coming out of his hand really well," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Burton. " He's got great stuff. He's got a great arm and he's healthy, along with Perk. You can back those two up to get to (closer Matt Capps), and that's pretty good.Burton came into Wednesday's game in the seventh inning and struck out Humberto Quintero and Yuniesky Betancourt in the inning. He also got Billy Butler swinging to lead off the eighth inning before the left-hander Perkins relieved him."I'm just getting ahead of guys, strike one, and then I've been able to go to my put-away pitches," Burton said. " Right now everything's just clicking and I'm executing my pitches real well."On the season, Burton now has a 3.57 ERA in 22 23 innings. He's struck out 26 batters and walked just three in 24 appearances. A year ago with Cincinnati, he pitched in just six games for the Reds due to an injury. But he's healthy again and has been rock solid for Minnesota."He's been throwing the ball great all year," Capps said of Burton. "What can you say? Great pickup by the Twins organization and scouts and (general manager) Terry Ryan in targeting him and getting him over here."Tuesday's 1-0 loss was another example of the bullpen's solid play as of late. Starter Francisco Liriano lasted six innings and gave up just one run, and Brian Duensing, Anthony Swarzak and Perkins kept the Twins in the game by combining for two scoreless innings. The only runs allowed by Minnesota's bullpen during the six-game road trip came in a Twins victory. Right-hander Jeff Gray entered Monday's game with a 10-5 Minnesota lead and gaveup two runs in the ninth inning. Otherwise, the bullpen has been nearly flawless over the last six games."You don't want to get too high or too low. You want to just stay consistent," Burton said of the relievers. "As a bullpen guy, you know you've got about 65 or 70 times to contribute to help your team win. It's just all about staying even keel all the way through and not being too confident if you're going well or not being too down on yourself if you have a couple rough ones."Capps is an example of not getting down after a rough outing. After blowing a save May 27 against Detroit, Capps has bounced back to save five games in his last five outings. He picked up four saves on the road trip and saved Wednesday's game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, closing it out by striking out Brayan Pena.Capps is now 14-for-15 in save opportunities this season. His lone blown save came when Detroit's Miguel Cabrera hit a go-ahead homer off Capps in the ninth inning at Target Field. "You've got to find a way to forget about it," Capps said. "I came in here the other night and threw three pitches and got one out. What I did a couple nights ago did nothing for me tonight. So you've got to find a way to put the good and bad behind you and focus on the task at hand right now."Minnesota has won three series in a row and has won seven of its last nine games. Still, the Twins are just 22-34 and in last place in the American League Central.The task at hand now for the Twins is to continue to win series. But thanks to a solid bullpen and improved starting pitching, the Twins are finally starting to do just that.Robby Incmikoski contributed to this report.Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.
BEST OF MAXIM
Since being inserted back into Minnesota's starting rotation, Francisco Liriano has looked like the Liriano of old. Including Tuesday's start against Kansas City, Liriano has allowed just one run over his last 12 innings.But Liriano wasn't helped out at all by his offense Tuesday, as the Twins fell, 1-0, to Bruce Chen and the Royals. Still, it's an encouraging sign...
The Twins played the percentages in the draft.They need pitchers so they drafted pitchers -- many, many pitchers.Thirteen of the Twins' first 18 draft picks were pitchers.Overall, 24 of their haul of 43 draft choices pitch. The Twins used the second overall pick in the draft on Byron Buxton, an extremely talented high school outfielder from Georgia -- who also is an outstanding...
DREAM COME TRUE
Jose Berrios was drafted 32nd by the Minnesota Twins as a compensation pick between the first and second rounds on Monday in the MLB Draft. Berrios, described as a hard-throwing, right-handed pitcher, is 18 years old and attends Papa Juan XXIII High School in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Berrios, at some kind of function with family and [...]
BETTER THAN 'STARSHIP'
Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Jeff Manship was forced to wear a jersey with his name misspelled during his appearance in Wednesday night's game against the Kansas City Royals. Manship made his first road appearance of the year for the Twins as he pitched the bottom of the sixth inning, but had to do it with a jersey that had 'Mansihp' printed on the back. Obviously...
The Minnesota Twins used a new pitcher Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals or at least a familiar pitcher with a new last name.Twins reliever Jeff Manship came in to pitch the sixth inning of Wednesday's series finale against the Royals. There was one slight problem, however: his name was misspelled on the back of his jersey.The white lettering on Manship's navy jersey...
The Minnesota Twins have the worst record in the American League, and they have been below .500 since Opening Day. However, outside of Jason Marquis, released from the roster after going 2-4 with an 8.37 ERA, the team's offseason acquisitions have proved to be valuable. Left fielder Josh Willingham leads the team with 11 homers and 39 RBI. Closer Matt Capps, re-signed as...
MINNEAPOLIS The 2012 Major League Baseball draft is in the books.
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The Minnesota Twins recalled first baseman Chris Parmelee from Triple-A Rochester on Thursday and optioned right-hander Cole DeVries.
Parmelee began the year on the Twins' 25-man roster but struggled offensively. In 27 games, he hit just 179 with three RBI and 21 strikeouts. The demotion seemed to help his bat, however, as he was hitting .375.500.708 in 15 games with the Red...
With scoreless outings in four of six starts, Kansas City starter Felipe Paulino is turning in the best stretch of his career.
The journeyman brings a 19-inning home scoreless inning streak into Wednesday night's finale of a three-game set between the Royals and Minnesota Twins.
After missing the first month of the season due to forearm tightness, Paulino (3-1, 1.70 ERA) made...
Tonight's Twins update is listed here on my other Twins blog at ProSportsBlogging.com.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Nick Blackburn shook off a slow start and pitched five effective innings, helping the Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2 on Wednesday night.
Justin Morneau hit a go-ahead, two-run single with two out in the fifth as Minnesota won for the fourth time in five games. Morneau, Ben Revere and Ryan Doumit each had two hits.
Blackburn (2-4), who was...
During baseball's 1980 winter meetings in Honolulu, Hal Keller was walking through the lobby of the host hotel with his two sons, when he saw future Hall of Famer Rod Carew."I had not seen Rodney in years,'' remembered Keller. "I walked up him, and said, 'I don't know if you remember me.' He said, 'Oh yeah. You taught me to hit.'"Keller...
Some wondered whether the Twins would take the top high school player in the state of Minnesota in this year's draft. Instead, the Cleveland Indians selected Rochester Century right-hander Mitch Brown in Tuesday's second round with the No. 79 overall pick.
Brown is committed to play college baseball at the University of San Diego and now must make a decision whether to go...
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