CINCINNATI -- Jared Burton's perfect eighth inning of relief Friday night meant a little more to the Twins right-hander. For five seasons, Burton pitched in Cincinnati, but arthroscopic shoulder surgery limited him to just six appearances in 2011. The Reds left Burton off their 40-man roster last winter and he signed with Minnesota as a free agent.
All Burton has done for the Twins is appear in 30 games and help stabilize a bullpen that is second in the Major Leagues in innings pitched.
"It's rewarding to come to the field each and every day and know that I can be myself and that I'm healthy and strong," said Burton. "I've always had confidence in knowing what I can do, because I've done it before. It's just being healthy again."
Burton has pitched 29 innings and held opponents scoreless on 24 of his 30 appearances. He's allowed just one of nine inherited runners to score this season. The Twins have used him wisely -- he's only pitched on consecutive days three times this season.
"They know I had shoulder surgery last year," said Burton. "They want to make sure everyone stays as strong as possible, because it's still June."