5/18/2014 3:09 P.M. ET
Gardenhire pleased with Hicks' progress
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has liked what he's seen from center fielder Aaron Hicks since meeting with him on Tuesday about being more prepared for his at-bats.
Hicks had a walkoff RBI single on Thursday against the Red Sox and went a combined 3-for-6 with a double and a walk against the Mariners on Friday and Saturday.
Hicks entered Sunday still hitting just .191 on the season, but his .330 on-base percentage ranks slightly above average. The average on-base percentage in the Majors is .317 this season. Hicks has done it with an impressive walk rate, as he's walking in 17.4 percent of his plate appearances.
Gardenhire said Hicks took Tuesday's meeting to heart, and the young outfielder has been doing early work on the field and in the batting cages to get his swing right.
"You can already see it in him -- he's out working early and has a bat in his hand going to hit all the time in the cages," Gardenhire said. "He's doing what he's supposed to do. He's here early and working to be a baseball player. That's all we wanted from him and he's doing it. He's doing well."
Perkins unavailable in finale vs. Mariners
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins closer Glen Perkins was unavailable against the Mariners on Sunday after pitching in four out of five games, including three straight from Thursday to Saturday.
Perkins picked up consecutive saves against the Mariners on Friday and Saturday after blowing his first save of the season on Thursday, when he gave up two runs in the ninth against the Red Sox in an eventual win in extra innings.
Perkins leads the American League with 12 saves, and has a 3.54 ERA in 20 appearances. The left-hander has struck out 29 and walked just three while serving up one homer in 20 1/3 innings.
"You won't see him out there [Sunday] so don't play him [on your fantasy team]," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said jokingly.
• Twins left fielder Josh Willingham played in his second rehab game on Saturday with Triple-A Rochester. He played five innings in left field, and went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI single. He's not expected to be ready to join the Twins for their two-game series in San Diego that begins Tuesday.
• The Twins honored longtime Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman with Sid Hartman Day at Target Field on Sunday. The Twins also named their press conference room after him in a special ceremony with Gardenhire before Sunday's game. Hartman, 94, has been a fixture in the Twin Cities since penning his first column on Sept. 11, 1945.
• Double-A New Britain first baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez was named the Twins' Minor League Player of the Week. Rodriguez, 28, hit .462 with three homers six RBIs and seven runs scored in six games. He's hitting .319/.377/.551 with seven homers, 11 doubles and 17 RBIs in 38 games this year.