Pavano will try to lead the Marlins to another win when he takes the hill against the Cleveland Indians in the deciding game of their interleague series.
The Marlins have won nine of Pavano’s 11 starts this season, with the 28-year-old right-hander allowing three runs or fewer nine times in that span.
Pavano was 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA in eight postseason appearances last year as the Marlins won their second world title.
A winner of three of his last four decisions, Pavano is coming off a stellar one-run, six-hit effort over 7 2-3 innings in Friday’s 5-1 road victory over the New York Mets.
“He’s been consistent every time out,” manager Jack McKeon said of Pavano, who is 2-0 with a 2.55 ERA over his last three starts. “He’s matured into a frontline pitcher who gives you a chance to win every time he goes out there.”
The Marlins need Pavano to continue his surge as they have lost six of nine, including Wednesday’s 8-1 defeat.
Miguel Cabrera homered for the second straight game, his 15th overall. The 21-year-old right fielder is batting .370 (10-for-27) during his seven-game hitting streak.
With their victory on Wednesday, the Indians not only won for the eighth time in their last 12 games, they defeated the Marlins for the first time since Game 6 of the 1997 World Series.
The Marlins won Game 7 in 11 innings, swept a three-game series at home in 2002 and took a 7-5 decision in the opener of this three-game set on Tuesday.
Casey Blake, who homered Wednesday, is batting .469 (15-for-32) with two homers and seven RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak.