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Perkins healthy, ready to return as closer

Perkins healthy, ready to return as closer

MINNEAPOLIS -- After being unavailable for two games with soreness in his left side, Twins closer Glen Perkins threw before Sunday's game against the Orioles and said he was cleared to return to action.

Perkins felt the discomfort in his left side while pitching against the Red Sox on Thursday, but he was still able to pick up his eighth save in as many chances. He wasn't available for the first two games of the series against the Orioles, as Jared Burton got the save in Saturday's 8-5 win with a scoreless ninth.

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Perkins, though, said he felt fine during his throwing session before Sunday's game and declared himself good to go.

"He doesn't feel it now," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's going to go out there and let it fly."

Burton was unavailable on Sunday, as he pitched in three straight days. It was the first time he'd done that since Oct. 2-4, 2009, while with the Reds.

"Burton is not going to pitch today after going three days in a row," Gardenhire said. "That's stretching him out too much."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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