05/12/2013 6:15 PM ET
Perkins healthy, ready to return as closer
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- After being unavailable for two games with soreness in his left side, Twins closer Glen Perkins threw before Sunday's game against the Orioles and said he was cleared to return to action.
Perkins felt the discomfort in his left side while pitching against the Red Sox on Thursday, but he was still able to pick up his eighth save in as many chances. He wasn't available for the first two games of the series against the Orioles, as Jared Burton got the save in Saturday's 8-5 win with a scoreless ninth.
Perkins, though, said he felt fine during his throwing session before Sunday's game and declared himself good to go.
"He doesn't feel it now," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's going to go out there and let it fly."
Burton was unavailable on Sunday, as he pitched in three straight days. It was the first time he'd done that since Oct. 2-4, 2009, while with the Reds.
"Burton is not going to pitch today after going three days in a row," Gardenhire said. "That's stretching him out too much."
Parmelee, Twins wear 'flashy' pink Mother's Day gear
MINNEAPOLIS -- Chris Parmelee couldn't help but smile when asked about his bright pink cleats.
He called them "flashy," but he said he was excited to don the specially made Under Armour cleats on Mother's Day on Sunday to honor his mom, Robyn, and his wife, Amanda, who gave birth to their first child, a boy named Jack, on Aug. 20.
"It's a huge thing," Parmelee said. "I'm glad Under Armour was able to send them out. They're definitely flashy to wear for one day. But it's for a great cause to raise money for breast cancer awareness and to show all the mothers out there we appreciate what they do. So it's a fun thing and a fun day."
Parmelee wasn't the only Twins player to wear the pink cleats, as Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe also wore them on Sunday.
Dozier, along with Wilkin Ramirez, also was one of two Twins players to use pink bats made by Louisville slugger. Plouffe, whose mom, Diane, is a breast cancer survivor, also used a black bat made by MaxBats that had a pink logo, as only Louisville Slugger can have a logo on a fully pink bat.
"I called her today and wished her a happy Mother's Day," Plouffe said. "It's important to me because she battled breast cancer, but our family is fortunate enough she beat it. So it's a great to raise awareness and raise some money."
Dozier and Ramirez were two of hundreds of MLB players who used pink bats made by Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo.
To further demonstrate their support for the breast cancer cause, players and on-field personnel also wore the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands and batting gloves.
Those pink bats used in games and signed by teams are also authenticated by MLB, and then presented exclusively at the MLB.com Auction site at a later date to raise additional funds for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Hicks, Florimon get breathers on Sunday
MINNEAPOLIS -- Center fielder Aaron Hicks and shortstop Pedro Florimon were both held out of the lineup with minor injuries on Sunday against the Orioles.
Hicks, who is dealing with a sore right elbow, missed his second straight game, but he was able to hit in the cages before the game. Wilkin Ramirez started in his place in center field for a second straight day.
"I think he's going to be OK," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's doing some swinging today, so he should be OK if I need him and should be available for tomorrow."
Florimon missed his third straight game after leaving Thursday's game in Boston with a tight right hamstring. But he was just held out for precautionary reasons and was available off the bench. Eduardo Escobar started at shortstop for the third day in a row with Florimon out.
Left fielder Josh Willingham, who missed Saturday's game with a sore left wrist, returned to the lineup. It gave rookie outfielder Oswaldo Arcia a rare day off, as he's been a fixture in the lineup in recent weeks.
"I think we're in pretty good shape," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "Sounds like [Glen] Perkins is going to be good to go if we need him. Willingham is in the lineup, which is good. Florimon can play, but we're giving him another day and Hicks can play, but we're giving him another day. So that's good. Most of them are at least available."