By Joe Christensen
CLEVELAND — Carl Pavano has faced the Twins only once, on April 9, 2007, when he pitched seven innings in an 8-2 victory for the Yankees.
That turned out to be Pavano’s final start of 2007, and it was one of only nine victories Pavano gave the Yanks over the course of his four-year, $39.95 million deal.
Pavano, 33, reached free agency again last fall and signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Indians. He opened the year as their No. 3 starter, but he is 0-2 with a 9.69 ERA.
His first start was a disaster, a one-inning, nine-run outing at Texas, but he has pitched six innings in each of his last two starts. Last Sunday, he held the Yankees to one run on four hits over six innings — confounding them yet again — before New York broke out against the Cleveland bullpen for a 7-3 victory.
Tonight, he gets another crack at the Twins.
Updates to come…
Update: Joe Mauer told Manager Ron Gardenhire to “keep an open mind” about activating him from the disabled list before next Friday’s target date.
Gardenhire said Mauer will catch nine innings Monday for Class A Fort Myers (after catching seven innings tonight and serving as the DH on Sunday). After Monday, if everything keeps progressing, it sounds possible that Mauer could rejoin the Twins on Tuesday.
Gardy said Carlos Gomez will be back in the lineup Sunday but said he’s trying to give the center fielder a break to clear his mind. Gomez and his wife are expecting their first child any day, so there is a lot on his mind.
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Justin Morneau, 1B
4. Jason Kubel, DH
5. Joe Crede, 3B
6. Michael Cuddyer, RF
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. Mike Redmond, C
9. Nick Punto, SS
Starting pitcher: RH Kevin Slowey
1. Grady Sizemore, CF
2. Mark DeRosa, 3B
3. Victor Martinez, 1B
4. Travis Hafner, DH
5. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
6. Ben Francisco, LF
7. Kelly Shoppach, C
8. Tony Graffanino, 2B
9. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Starting pitcher: RH Carl Pavano
Progressive Field. First pitch: 6:05 p.m. (Central)