MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Matt Capps is eager to pitch in a pennant race for the first time.
Minnesota's new closer joined the Twins on Friday for their game against Seattle. Capps was acquired in a trade the night before from Washington, and his first four full seasons in the majors were with Pittsburgh.
To make room for Capps, the Twins optioned struggling right-hander Nick Blackburn to Triple-A Rochester. Blackburn made 18 starts and was moved to the bullpen last week. He has a 6.66 ERA in 104 innings, and the Twins want him to rediscover his sinker.
Also, infielder Nick Punto was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left hamstring. The injury occurred in Wednesday's game. Shortstop Trevor Plouffe was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to fill in.