Twins closer Glen Perkins returns sooner than expected from neck injury

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After taking some time off and getting a cortisone injection for the bulging disc in his neck Twins closer Glen Perkins was expected to be available Tuesday, but instead he was out there pitching the 11th inning of a tie game Sunday afternoon.

And he got the win.

Perkins felt good enough following a bullpen session that the Twins cleared him to pitch, so the All-Star left-hander worked around a pair of hits to throw a scoreless inning against the Orioles and the Twins ended up winning 4-3 to sweep the four-game series in Baltimore.

Perkins has had neck problems in the past and pitching through them hasn’t worked out particularly well overall, so the Twins will likely be keeping a very close eye on his performance and his velocity (which seemed down a bit Sunday).