On Friday the Minnesota Twins acquired Brian Fuentes from the Los Angeles Angels.

On Saturday Fuentes earned his first Twins‘ save against the Seattle Mariners. For Fuentes it was his 24th save of the season.

For the Minnesota Twins, Fuentes gives their bullpen a proven closer—that makes three proven closers since Joe Nathan injured his pitching shoulder in spring training.

Within an hour of arriving at Safeco Field in Seattle, Fuentes had his first Twins’ save, giving him 24 for the season.

Jon Rauch started the season as Nathan’s replacement. He has 21 saves, a 3.40 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP.

The Twins traded catcher Wilson Ramos to the Washington Nationals for All-Star closer Matt Capps on July 29th. Capps has six saves in 13 appearances for Minnesota.

Combined in 2010, the three-headed closer of Rauch-Capps-Fuentes has 77 saves, a 3.10 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

Minnesota General Manager Bill Smith has acted quickly after the Twins’ bullpen lost their two left-handed relievers, Jose Mijares and Ron Mahay. 

On Wednesday the Twins claimed left-handed reliever Randy Flores off waivers from the Colorado Rockies. Flores has pitched 27.2 innings with a 2.96 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.

The addition of Fuentes gives Manager Ron Gardenhire some extra flexibility at the end of games.

Rauch will probably alternate with Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier for the eighth inning set-up role, while Capps and Fuentes gives the Twins a left-handed and a right-handed closer for the ninth. 


The Twins needed a closer with some experience, and with three post-season saves, the 34 year-old Fuentes gives them just that.


Nick Blackburn impresses with eight and two-thirds innings of shutout baseball.

On Saturday, starter Nick Blackburn found himself in some early trouble in the first inning. With two outs, he gave up back-to-back hits putting runners on first and third. He would get the next batter to end the inning, and then pitch into the ninth not allowing another hit. 

The Twins would pick up a run in the top of the third when Danny Valencia, J.J. Hardy and Denard Span would provide three hits in a row scoring the only run the Twins would need.

With one out in the second Blackburn would walk Ryan Langerhans, and then set down the next 22 batters, until with two outs in the ninth he would walk Chone Figgins.

With the winning run at the plate Gardenhire wasted no time bringing the left-handed Fuentes to pitch to the left-handed hitting Russell Branyan.

Fuentes had an easy four-pitch save, striking out Branyan on a 91 mile per hour fastball.

In his two starts since returning from Rochester, Blackburn has pitched 15.2 innings, allowing only three earned runs (a 1.72 ERA). He has dropped his ERA for the season from 6.66 to 6.02.

If Blackburn continues to pitch this well, Gardenhire will have some tough decisions to make when Kevin Slowey comes off the DL.   

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