Carl Pavano(notes) hardly needed any help from Cleveland’s lineup when he recently faced the Chicago White Sox. Without Mark DeRosa(notes), the Indians may struggle to give him much run support this time.
Pavano takes the mound against the White Sox for the first time since shutting them out earlier this month as the Indians and their sputtering lineup open a three-game series Monday night.
The veteran right-hander’s best start of the season was against the White Sox (37-38) on June 5, pitching a three-hitter in a 6-0 victory.
Pavano (6-6, 5.80 ERA) has struggled in three starts since that win, going 0-2 with a 12.15 ERA, after it appeared he was headed for a strong season with wins in six of his previous seven outings. He was terrible in his last start, surrendering eight runs—three earned—and 11 hits in 3 2-3 innings as Cleveland (31-46) lost 10-6 to Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.
“I thought my ball was a little flat, and when it flattens out like that, those are the kind of games I get—a lot of contact and a lot of balls down the lines and in the holes,” Pavano said.
That type of performance would be tough for the Indians to overcome after trading DeRosa to St. Louis on Saturday night for reliever Chris Perez(notes) and a player to be named later. They’ve scored a total of four runs while going 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position in two games since dealing DeRosa, losing both.
Cleveland stranded nine runners in an 8-1 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday for its 10th defeat in 12 games.
DeRosa, acquired by the Indians from the Chicago Cubs during the offseason, had been second on the team with 13 homers, 50 RBIs and 47 runs. However, Cleveland believes it has players who can fill the void.
Jhonny Peralta(notes) has been moved from shortstop to third base, where DeRosa played 42 games. Asdrubal Cabrera(notes), activated from the disabled list Sunday, has moved from second base to short, and rookie Luis Valbuena(notes) and veteran Jamey Carroll(notes) will split time at second.
“This team has a lot of depth at positions and we’re still looking to win as many games as we can,” Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner(notes) said. “Baseball can be funny. You plan one thing and then something else you never expected makes you a winner.”
Cleveland’s lineup could have trouble getting going against Gavin Floyd(notes) (5-5, 4.45), who is 3-1 with a 1.60 ERA in his last seven starts. One of those wins came June 6 against the Indians as he allowed one earned run in 6 2-3 innings of a 4-2 home victory.
However, Floyd’s worst start of the season came at Cleveland. He matched career worsts with eight runs and 11 hits allowed in five innings of a 9-4 loss May 11. Floyd is 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA in five starts versus Cleveland.
Floyd’s likely battery mate, A.J. Pierzynski(notes), has four multihit efforts in his last five games and is 7 for 10 lifetime against Pavano, who is 3-1 with a 2.93 ERA in four starts versus Chicago.
Shortstop Alexei Ramirez(notes) continued his hot hitting with his fifth homer in 11 games, a stretch during which he’s batting .340 with 11 RBIs. Ramirez, though, is hitting .195 (8 for 41) in his last 12 games versus the Indians and is 1 for 7 lifetime against Pavano.
Cleveland is 4-2 versus Chicago this season.