Perkins hasn't had much chance to pitch

Perkins hasn't had much chance to pitch

NEW YORK -- On July 6, Glen Perkins found out he made the American League All-Star Team for the first time in his career. Coincidentally, that was also the last time he pitched prior to Saturday's game in New York.

The Twins' closer hadn't made an appearance in any of the team's prior six games, all of which have been losses.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said Saturday he had plans to get him on the mound sometime during the afternoon game against the Yankees.

"He needs to pitch. And if it has to be the bottom of the eighth inning, he'll pitch the bottom of the eighth inning," Gardenhire said. "He needs to pitch, and that'll probably be today."

Perkins has posted stellar numbers in his first season as Minnesota's full-time closer, recording 20 saves in 22 chances while sporting a 1.93 ERA.

The Twins haven's needed his services much in recent games, though. With his team struggling, Perkins has made just two appearances since June 29.

"Hopefully we'll have a lead where we can get him a save opportunity. Somewhere, that young man has to pitch," Gardenhire said. "And if he pitches the eighth and we get a lead or whatever, he's going to have to pitch the ninth, too."

Josh Vitale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.