MINNEAPOLIS -- The script for Glen Perkins hasnt always gone so smoothly. Sure, there have been hiccups. Life is never perfect. Rare, though, are the occurrences in sports that come together as marvelously as this for the Minnesota closer: taking the mound for the American League All-Star team and pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning in front of his roaring, adoring home fans. When Perkins jogged out of the bullpen on Tuesday night at Target Field, he was taken aback by how loud the crowd became. "I wasnt fighting back tears, but it was an overwhelming moment to hear," Perkins said. "It was a moment like that where you realize why you play the game and what makes the game so fun, and its the fans in the stands." His All-Star status and salary of more than $4 million this season put him in the societal elite, but in many ways Perkins is a lot alike many of those fans in the stands. He grew up in a Twin Cities suburb, Stillwater, and lives year-round in Minnesota, a rarity for Twins players. Boating and fishing are two of his favourite pastimes. Hes regularly on social media, with a sharp sense of humour and down-to-earth perspective that further endear him to the masses. Minutes after finishing one of his shakiest saves of the season, at Milwaukee last month, Perkins posted on Twitter: "I just did my best Ron Davis impression," alluding to the Twins closer of the mid-1980s prone to wild pitches and blown leads. Perkins has proven to be far more effective than Davis, though, putting himself on track to approach Joe Nathan franchise-leading all-time saves total. At age 31, under contract through at least 2017, Perkins isnt going anywhere. The Twins have an option on his deal for 2018 that would be a market bargain at $6.5 million if he stays healthy and productive. Perkins was the one who approached the front office during spring training about an extension, willing to take a contract that couldve been richer. He started the year as the 17th-highest paid closer in the majors. Thats fine by him. Becoming an All-Star for his hometown Twins has been beyond his grandest goals. "Hearing how loud the fans were, it makes me want to get to the playoffs," said Perkins, who made one appearance in the 2006 first-round series as a rookie but wasnt on the post-season roster in either 2009 or 2010. The Twins went 5-2 on their road trip before the All-Star break and have generally been more competent and competitive than their last three teams that each lost 96 games or more. Still, theyre 10 1-2 games out of first place. Their starting pitchers, despite progress by Kyle Gibson and the upgrade with Phil Hughes, have a 4.86 ERA, the third-worst mark in the majors. Veterans on expiring contracts like Suzuki, left fielder Josh Willingham and starting pitcher Kevin Correia could be traded in the coming weeks. The players, of course, are opposed. "I know how the business side of it is, the long-term stuff," second baseman Brian Dozier said. "But its our job to make those decisions hard for them. To be honest with you, I want to contend. I believe we can. Weve got the people to do it. Im not saying we dont need a couple of extra pieces, but I think were going to be just fine. We just have to get on a roll." The Twins start their post-break schedule with 10 straight games at Target Field. Manager Ron Gardenhire joked last week about being home enough to actually help his wife, Carol, mow the lawn. Danny Santana will come off the disabled list Friday, and ideally Joe Mauer will join him soon after. Perhaps prospects Trevor May or Alex Meyer will get a promotion from Triple-A to boost the rotation. "We think if we can get healthy and pitching again, thats pretty good. We still have to find some consistency there. Our offence, I think that will come if we get all the pieces back we hope for," Gardenhire said. One place the manager isnt worried about is the back of the bullpen. Perkins has that taken care of. Jaquiski Tartt Jersey
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.com) - James Harden had 32 points, including a tying layup late in regulation, and the Houston Rockets scored eight of their 13 points in overtime at the foul line to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 117-111 on Friday night.Lexington, KY - Aaron Harrison led a balanced Kentucky attack with 19 points and the No. 1 Wildcats used a big second half to pull away from Boston University, 89-65, to remain unbeaten on the season. Devin Booker had 15 points and seven assists and Karl-Anthony Towns blocked five shots for Kentucky (4-0), which dismantled fifth-ranked Kansas earlier in the week in Indianapolis before returning home for an eight-game homestand. When you have a team like this and youre not shooting and scoring, then you can involve yourself in different ways to contribute to the win, said Booker, who made his first career start. Cedric Hankerson scored a game-high 24 points for BU (1-2), which stayed competitive for most of the night before a late rally resulted in a crooked final score. The Wildcats led 16-7 after Dakari Johnsons putback dunk and looked to be on their way to another rout, but BU quickly closed the gap. Nathan Dieudonne and Justin Alston had dunks to bookend an 9-0 run that stretched around the second media timeout to tie the game. Kentucky rresponded with 10 straight, including four each from Harrison and Willie Cauley-Stein.dddddddddddd The lead hovered between five and 10 for the rest of the half, and Eric Fannings 3-pointer with five seconds left pulled the Terriers within five, 40-35, at the break. Well, we didnt fight in the first half, said Kentucky head coach John Calipari. We didnt drive it enough, we didnt get in the gaps. Hankerson did all he could to keep the them afloat. His 3-ball at 16:20 had BU within two. But Kentucky ran away with it after a big run later in the half. Back-to-back Trey Lyles dunks, including an alley-oop from Booker, gave the Wildcats a 63-50 lead near the midpoint of the second half. The spread reached 20 after Harrisons layup with 5:48 left, and it never got close from there. Game Notes Kentucky has won 17 straight non-conference home games ... The Wildcats dont go on the road until Dec. 20 against UCLA in Chicago ... Kentucky is 4-0 all- time against BU ... Kentucky forward Alex Poythress missed the game with an illness. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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