By Joe Christensen
The first question for Glen Perkins was about his new beard: What’s this, a playoff beard?
“No, it’s my, I-had-nothing-better-to-do-in-Florida beard,” he said after the Twins 8-2 victory over Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. “I’ve gotten mixed reactions on it. Let’s leave it at that, but it’s going to stay.”
Yes, Perkins was glad to be back from his rehab stint in Fort Myers, Fla. After being out since May 18 with nerve irritation in his left elbow, Perkins held the Pirates to two runs over six innings for his first victory since April 19, improving to 2-3 with a 5.09 ERA.
“I thought he got better as the game went along,” Manager Ron Gardenhire said, adding that the Twins would have sent Perkins back for the seventh inning, had the previous half-inning not taken so long.
Most importantly, Perkins said his elbow has not bothered him since those first few days after his May 18 outing against the Yankees. Looking back, Perkins thinks he might have tweaked the nerve with a dumbbell exercise. So he stopped doing that exercise and hasn’t felt anything since.
Tonight, the Twins will see if Francisco Liriano can turn in his third consecutive quality start. The first two — at Seattle and at Oakland — went unrewarded, leaving Liriano at 2-7 with a 5.99 ERA.
Check back here for the starting lineups this afternoon.