Valverde feeling better, available on Friday

Valverde feeling better, available on Friday

MINNEAPOLIS -- Closer Jose Valverde said before batting practice on Friday afternoon that his body was a bit sore but that he should be fine to pitch. He looked better after missing Thursday's game with illness.

"I'll be OK," Valverde said.

Joaquin Benoit closed in Valverde's place on Thursday and gave up a game-tying home run to Billy Butler on his third pitch before retiring the Royals in order from there to keep the score tied going into the bottom of the ninth.

Valverde has six saves in 10 career outings at Target Field, and has allowed just a lone unearned run on six hits over 12 1/3 innings, with 13 strikeouts.