Sinker keys Blackburn's bounceback start

Sinker keys Blackburn's bounceback start

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had some advice for catcher Ryan Doumit before Tuesday's game against the White Sox.

Gardenhire told the backstop to keep calling for right-hander Nick Blackburn's sinker, and it ended up paying off, as Blackburn turned in his best outing of the year.

Blackburn, who entered with a 7.99 ERA and had given up eight runs against Chicago in his previous start, ended up allowing just two runs over eight strong innings.

"In Chicago, I think he got away from his power sinker and so yesterday before the game, I told Doumit to tell him to just pound the sinker," Gardenhire said. "Just pound that sinker and go with it. He's pretty good at that. In Chicago, he kept spinning balls up in the zone."

Gardenhire said he's hoping Blackburn can build off that outing and can continue to trust his sinker. He threw his sinker 88 times in 106 pitches.

"That's his strength," Gardenhire said. "If he can keep doing that and we can catch the ball, we'll be OK."