Trio of Twins pitchers enjoy successful outings
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Liam Hendriks, Glen Perkins and Kyle Gibson all came away satisfied with their results against the Rays on Sunday in the Hammond Stadium opener for the Twins.
Hendriks started the game and gave up a run on two hits and a walk over two innings. He threw 32 pitches -- 20 for strikes. He gave up the run on a RBI double on a changeup to Mike Fontenot with two outs in the second inning after walking Jason Bourgeois.
"Everything was good," Hendriks said. "I felt like the ball was coming out of my hand pretty good. But it was just that first time of sitting down and going back out there again so I felt a little tight. But it was coming out all right. Those two-out walks will kill you no matter what, and then I threw a changeup and slowed my arm action down, and they took advantage of it."
Perkins came on in relief of Hendriks and tossed a scoreless inning. He struck out the first two batters he faced -- Sam Fuld and Sean Rodriguez -- on six pitches before giving up back-to-back singles to Stephen Vogt and Shelly Duncan. But he was able to get out of the jam by getting Chris Gimenez to ground out.
Perkins, though, said he was a bit fatigued by the end of his outing, as he threw 19 pitches with 16 going for strikes. Perkins, who is set to leave the Twins on Sunday to join Team USA for the World Baseball Classic, is scheduled to throw again on Wednesday against the Phillies and Saturday against the Red Sox.
"In midseason I think I'll be able to maintain my stamina for a little more than any inning," Perkins said with a laugh. "I got a little tired with the heat and the first time out and all that. But I'll take it."
Gibson threw two scoreless innings in his first Grapefruit League action since undergoing Tommy John surgery in September 2011. The radar gun had his fastball at 96 mph but he wasn't sure if it was quite accurate. Gibson, though, was still pleased with the way he threw.
"I felt good," Gibson said. "Really felt loose and I'm pretty excited to be back out there. It's been a couple years since I was able to do that. It was a lot of fun."
Twins catcher Joe Mauer caught all three pitchers before coming out after the fifth inning. Mauer, who went 0-for-2 with a walk, liked what he saw from the pitchers.
"It was a good day," Mauer said. "Liam threw a good first inning. Gibson threw well. Perkins came in and threw hard. It was a good day."