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Heston excited for opportunity with Twins

Righty joins bullpen after being claimed off waivers
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Designated for assignment by the Mariners two weeks ago, Chris Heston has found himself back at Safeco Field.

Heston arrived back in Seattle, but this time as a member of the Twins after being claimed off waivers prior to Wednesday's game.

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SEATTLE -- Designated for assignment by the Mariners two weeks ago, Chris Heston has found himself back at Safeco Field.

Heston arrived back in Seattle, but this time as a member of the Twins after being claimed off waivers prior to Wednesday's game.

View Full Game Coverage

"It's exciting. You get to see some buddies that I played with and catch up with guys," Heston said. "It's a good opportunity."

Heston endured a hectic sequence of events to make it to Safeco Field during Wednesday's game. He heard the news that he was claimed at 11 a.m. in Oklahoma City, where he was scheduled to start for the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate, but he instead hopped on the next flight with a 2 p.m. departure and a connection in Chicago.

He arrived in the Twins' bullpen during the sixth inning, just in time for late-inning work, although he wasn't needed.

"It was good to get a minute to meet some of the guys and get acclimated a bit," Heston said.

Seattle isn't the only stop on Heston's reunion tour. The Twins begin a three-game Interleague series Friday with San Francisco, the club that drafted and developed Heston. Friday will be the second anniversary of Heston's no-hitter against the Mets as a member of the Giants.

Being familiar with the ballparks and the lineups provided a soft landing for the Twins' recently acquired right-hander.

"It's cool to go back somewhere you're comfortable and somewhere you've pitched a little bit," Heston said. "I think that comfort level is really big."

The Mariners designated Heston for assignment on May 24 following a rough start against the White Sox three days earlier, when he allowed seven runs on seven hits in three innings. The Dodgers claimed him and assigned him to the Triple-A affiliate before the Twins snatched him up.

"It's been kind of a whirlwind of emotions," Heston said. "There's been some ups and downs. But I'm excited for the opportunity that's presented itself here."

Heston's addition to the roster coincided with starter Hector Santiago landing on the 10-day disabled list. Manager Paul Molitor said he'll be used out of the bullpen in a long-reliever role. He's also a candidate to fill in for Santiago's scheduled start as a spot starter.

The role doesn't matter to Heston. He's just elated to be on a Major League club again.

"Any chance I can get to get innings and to help the team out is huge," Heston said.

Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. He covered the Twins on Thursday.

Minnesota Twins, Chris Heston