Less than 24 hours after being informed he is, once again, the Twins' closer, Joe Nathan closed down a 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night at Target Field.

And though he now has pitched on consecutive days for just the second time this season, he said he's ready to do it again this afternoon.

"We had a talk today, and I think they're comfortable with back-to-back-to-back," Nathan said of his discussion with the Twins' coaching staff. "After that, it might be a little bit of an adjustment from there. But I think three in a row is definitely comfortable for them, as it is for me."

Nathan retired three of the four hitters he faced on two pop ups and a lazy fly ball to record his 251st career save, and 250th with Minnesota, which made him a full-time closer after acquiring him in the trade that sent A.J. Pierzynski to San Francisco after the 2003 season.

"It looks like he's returning to himself, and it looks like he's feeling pretty good about it - and we are too," said Saturday's starter Carl Pavano, who gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk over seven innings.

A year removed from surgery to reconstruct his right elbow, Nathan regained the closing job out of spring training and nailed down his first three opportunities. But he struggled, perhaps inevitably, soon thereafter and gracefully made way for Matt Capps, a midseason acquisition last season who closed a career-high 46 games between Washington and Minnesota.

After struggling in May, Capps had a terrific June, converting six of seven opportunities with a 0.90 earned-run average, before running aground this month. Since blowing a three-run lead in an 8-7 loss to Milwaukee on July 2, Capps is 0-2 with two blown saves, two saves and an 11.11 earned-run average.