Nifty work by Perkins in pro debut

By Wes Holtsclaw
STAR STAFF
wholtsclaw@starhq.com

   JOHNSON CITY -- If anybody in the professional baseball world wanted to know why the Minnesota Twins spent a first-round pick on Glen Perkins, they got a hint Tuesday night.
   The Twins rode successful starting pitching, courtesy of Perkins, quality base running and solid hits to oust Johnson City 9-3 at Cardinal Park.
   The former Minnesota Golden Gopher struck out seven in his first four innings of professional play, only allowing two hits in his first start as a Twin.
   "It's no secret that a key to winning is good pitching," said Elizabethton manager Ray Smith. "He came out and threw hard his first couple of innings, and we were impressed with his ability on the mound. I hope some of the other guys that didn't play were able to sit back and watch what he did tonight."
   Said Perkins: "I came out and had a good night. It went as good as I expected. I wasn't surprised to throw that many strikeouts coming out of college. I hope to come out and throw better the next game."
   Elizabethton recorded its first run in the opening frame when Landon Burt singled and came across on a hill-climbing double by Javier Lopez.
   Back-to-back walks from Matt Tolbert and Burt set up a sacrifice grounder from Lopez, producing Tolbert's first run, and an RBI single from Jay Yaconetti.
   'Betsy continued to roll in the fourth with a walk to catcher Timothy Lahey, setting up an RBI triple from former Ole Miss second baseman Matt Tolbert.
   Tolbert scored on a sacrifice fly from Burt.
   It became 6-0 in the fifth when Jeremy Pickrel walked and advanced across the plate on an infield error courtesy of Johnson City.
   The Cardinals finally got offensive in the sixth inning when Tony Granadillo walked and advanced across the plate on a throwing error from Johnny Woodard.
   A double from Yaconetti in the seventh stanza allowed Woodard to follow through with an RBI single of his own to make it 7-1.
   Elizabethton closed out with two runs as Jeremy Pickrel singled and scored on a double from Johnny Woodard.
   Woodard eventually scored on an errored bloop in the infield courtesy of the bat of Timothy Lahey.
   The Cardinals made a last ditch effort at a comeback with a single and double, respectively, from Adam Burton and Simon Williams.
   Burton scored on a single from Juan Lucena, while Das Jessen scored Williams on a sacrifice fly to make it 9-3.
   Yaconetti and Woodard led Elizabethton with two hits in the game, while five other Twins got one hit apiece.
   Evan Meek got two solid innings of work with three strikeouts in relief for Perkins. Meek walked away with the win, evening his record at 1-1.
   Javier Martinez pitched the seventh and eighth before Kris Lankford finished up the ninth.
   Tim Lemon grabbed his second loss for the Cardinals after giving up five runs in his four innings.
   John Powell cleared two runs and three hits in his 2.2 innings of work before Joey Siak took over for Johnson City.