Rich Harden strikes out six and wins in season debut

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Baseball truly is a wonderful game.

– Rich Harden, making his first start for the A’s since July 6, 2008, went six innings without walking a batter to defeat the Diamondbacks in his season debut.  It’s just the 10th time in 146 career starts that he’s pitched at least six innings and not walked a batter.  He walked two batters every three innings for the Rangers last season.

– Hideki Matsui beat Miguel Montero’s errant throw to second base to record his first steal since Sept. 12, 2007.

– Wily Mo Pena, who was playing for the Bridgeport Bluefish a year ago, delivered a line-drive homer for the Diamondbacks, giving him four homers in seven starts and three pinch-hitting appearances since his callup.

– Batting one spot below him was Sean Burroughs, who was even further removed from the majors than Pena a year ago.  He was eating out of trash cans in Las Vegas.

OK, so Burroughs went 0-for-3.  He might end up back in the minors next week.  Pena could join him there a couple of weeks later.  Harden will surely return to the DL at some point.

But tonight was cool, and it served as a good reminder to never count anyone out.

Report: Glen Perkins will retire from baseball

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According to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger, Twins GM Thad Levine told 1390 Granite City Sports that reliever Glen Perkins will retire.

Perkins, 34, has battled shoulder injuries over the last two years, limiting him to a total of 7 2/3 innings between 2016-17. His decision doesn’t come as much of a surprise given the circumstances. The Twins declined his $6.5 million club option back in October, making him a free agent.

Across parts of 12 seasons, all with the Twins, Perkins compiled a 3.88 ERA with 120 saves and a 504/158 K/BB ratio in 624 1/3 innings. He ranked among baseball’s best closers from 2013-15, racking up 102 of those saves with a 3.08 ERA. The lefty made the American League All-Star team in each of those three seasons.