7/24/2013 3:22 A.M. ET
Gardenhire open to using Perkins for multiple innings
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire used closer Glen Perkins for a four-out save for the first time on Monday against the Angels, and said he's not afraid to use him in a similar situation if it comes up again this season.
Gardenhire said he's had Perkins warm up in the eighth a few times this year, but used him for a multi-inning save for the first time on Monday. It was Perkins' 24th save this year and he's gone 19 1/3 innings without giving up a run, which is the longest such streak in the Majors.
"It just depends on the situation," Gardenhire said. "We have [Casey] Fien and [Jared] Burton throwing fantastic. And we have lefties we can use in [Caleb] Thielbar and [Brian] Duensing. So I just felt at that time with the first game on the road trip it was important to put our best pitcher out there and win this game."
Perkins came in with runners on first and third and gave up an RBI single to Collin Cowgill before being saved by left fielder Clete Thomas, who robbed Chris Iannetta of a go-ahead three-run homer. He also ran into trouble in the ninth, putting two runners on with one out, before striking out Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick to end the game.
Gardenhire said the disadvantage of using Perkins in situations like that is that it limits his availability, as he threw 26 pitches in a high-leverage situation.
"He was gassed last night. I know that," Gardenhire said. "That extra third of an inning just about killed him. He threw 25 pitches and usually he can bounce back from that, but those were 25 hard pitches and that makes a big difference."
Ramirez, Mastroianni nearing rehab assignments
ANAHEIM -- Outfielders Wilkin Ramirez and Darin Mastroianni are both getting closer to starting rehab assignments in Fort Myers, Fla., according to Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony.
Ramirez, who has been on the 7-day concussion disabled list since May 26, is scheduled to head to Fort Myers on Wednesday. His headaches have subsided recently and could be ready soon for a second rehab assignment, as his first one in late June was cut short due to continued concussion-related symptoms.
"He's doing fine," Antony said. "He's going to go down there and work out for a couple days and if everything feels good and he's ready to go, we'll start him on a rehab assignment."
Mastroianni, meanwhile, has already been in Fort Myers since July 7 and could begin his rehab assignment by the end of the week. He's been out since April 16 with a left ankle stress reaction and had ankle surgery on May 22.
"Mastro is getting closer," Antony said. "We haven't pinpointed the day, but everything has been fine. He's been running the bases better, but it's the deceleration where he feels it. But he's getting closer and he'll start a rehab as well."
Mauer takes leave to attend birth of twins
ANAHEIM -- Joe Mauer left the Twins to see his twins.
Mauer was a late scratch from the lineup on Tuesday against the Angels, as he flew back to Minnesota because his wife, Maddie, went into labor with the couple's twins.
Mauer, placed on the paternity list on Wednesday, was replaced by Chris Herrmann, who started at catcher and batted seventh.
Catcher Drew Butera was called up from Triple-A Rochester to take Mauer's place on the roster. Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia, who was also a possibility to replace Mauer, left Tuesday's game with Rochester in the third inning, but it was because he felt dizziness.
Butera was hitting .215 (17-for-79) with two doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs in 25 games for Rochester. He was expected to be in uniform for Wednesday's game in Anaheim.
• Right-hander Nick Blackburn, who is coming off right wrist surgery, made his first start of the year for Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday after making two outings for Double-A New Britain. The sinkerballer gave up six runs on 10 hits over five innings, but remains an option to rejoin the Twins later this season if he pitches well enough in Rochester.
"I think we view it now as he's back to the level he was when he got hurt and now he has to get to this level," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "So we'll see how he pitches there and if we need a guy and there's an opportunity and he's the best guy, we won't be afraid to run him up there."
• Starting pitchers Cole De Vries, Pedro Hernandez and Vance Worley are all currently on the 7-day Minor League disabled list at Triple-A Rochester and are rehabbing at the club's Spring Training complex in Fort Myers, Fla., with rehab coordinator Chad Jackson. There's no timetable for the return of any of three pitchers yet, according to Antony.
"None of the three are ready to throw or get back out there, so we just sent them to Fort Myers to work with Chad," Antony said.
• Right-hander Alex Wimmers, Minnesota's first-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, is making good progress in his recovery from Tommy John surgery in August. He's made three appearances in the Florida Gulf League, posting a 2.45 ERA with nine strikeouts and two walks over 7 1/3 innings. He's expected to move up to Class A Advanced Fort Myers soon if all goes to plan.
"The goal is that in a few starts he'll be ready to start with the Miracle," Antony said. "Hopefully, he can join that club and carry his weight."