Facing NL opponents has provided a big boost in recent seasons for the Minnesota Twins, who boast the best interleague record in the majors since the start of 2006.
Lately, the Colorado Rockies have enjoyed playing against the AL even more.
The Rockies will be looking to win their sixth straight interleague game for the first time in nearly four years while handing the Twins a third consecutive defeat as the teams open a three-game set at Target Field on Tuesday night.
Minnesota (36-27) and Detroit are the only teams to win more than 70 percent of their interleague games in the last five years, with each going 56-22 against the NL.
The Twins, however, dropped their final two games against visiting Atlanta over the weekend, the second time they’ve lost an interleague series in 13 tries. Minnesota hasn’t dropped three straight to NL foes since losing one to Milwaukee and two to Washington from May 20-June 9, 2007.
The right-hander has pitched a minimum of seven innings in each of his last five home starts, going 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA. He beat Kansas City on Wednesday, allowing two runs in eight innings of a 6-2 win.
“I just got more consistent as the game went on,” Pavano said. “The sinker was all right, the changeup was a pitch I was able to mix in there. (Catcher) Joe (Mauer) and I were able to keep them off balance and I just felt I was able to move the ball around enough to keep them guessing.”
Cook (2-3, 4.76) was sharp in his last outing, giving up two runs and five hits in seven innings Wednesday against Houston, although the Rockies’ bullpen crumbled late in a 6-2, 10-inning defeat.
After losing three straight to the lowly Astros, Colorado (33-30) bounced back with a three-game sweep of Toronto over the weekend and improved to 16-4 in its last 20 interleague games.
The Rockies have won their last five against the AL, matching their longest interleague winning streak since taking eight straight bridging 2005 and 2006.
Carlos Gonzalez(notes) and Ryan Spilborghs(notes) helped power the Rockies against the Blue Jays, combining for five home runs - including three in Sunday’s 10-3 win. Spilborghs, who’s been used as a pinch hitter for much of the season, had two homers and was 7 for 12 with six extra-base hits in the series.
“I have guys that take swings just to be swinging sometimes, just to get loose,” hitting coach Don Baylor told the Rockies’ official website. “(Spilborghs is)not one of those. He’s always working on something.”
Mauer hasn’t homered since May 14, batting .276 with 12 RBIs in 28 games. The 2009 AL MVP has two homers this season - none at Target Field - after totaling a career-high 28 last year.