Blackburn to make Friday's start

Blackburn to make Friday's start

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins right-hander Nick Blackburn will get the start on Friday against the White Sox, as Glen Perkins continues to battle a sore throat and fever.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said Perkins, who was scratched from his start on Wednesday night vs. the Yankees, came to the ballpark on Thursday morning to see the club's trainers and was still feeling "terrible." They sent Perkins to team physician Dr. Vijay Eyunni to get checked for strep throat.

After Thursday's 6-4 loss to the Yankees, Gardenhire said he had not heard whether Perkins has strep throat, but the pitcher did receive medicine from the doctors.

"They said the medicine should help him within the next day or two," Gardenhire said.

Perkins' availability for Saturday remains questionable.

While Blackburn is being moved a day from his scheduled start against Chicago, the club is doing so because he'll still be on his usual four days' rest thanks to Monday's off-day. That's not the case with Sunday's starter Scott Baker, who would be pitching on short rest if he took the mound on Saturday.

So if Perkins can't pitch on Saturday, Gardenhire said the club will turn to one of its relievers to make the spot start -- Brian Duensing, Bobby Keppel or R.A. Dickey.

Dickey threw 33 pitches on Thursday -- two days after throwing 53 on Tuesday -- so he's unlikely to get the start. Gardenhire said that Duensing will have to be ready in relief on Friday if needed, but if Duensing doesn't pitch, then he could be the one to get the start.

"We'll see how it goes," Gardenhire said of the start that's considered "TBA" right now. "We'll ad-lib the best we can."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.