One year ago on this day, the Cleveland Indians traded Carl Pavano(notes) to the Minnesota Twins. Given the way Pavano has pitched in 2010, the woeful Indians might harbor a little regret over that deal.
After having an eight-game win streak snapped earlier this week, the Twins right-hander will try to bounce back Saturday night in his first matchup this year against his former team.
Following four injury-plagued and ineffective years with the Yankees, Pavano signed with Cleveland before the start of last season and was 9-8 with a 5.37 ERA when the Indians sent him to Minnesota on Aug. 7.
He was 5-4 with a 4.64 ERA in 12 starts with the Twins, who rallied to make the postseason.
Pavano has experienced a resurgence this year, going 13-7 with a 3.32 ERA, and most of those wins have come over the past two months. However, he comes into this start after suffering his first loss since June 3.
Pavano gave up four runs and nine hits over six innings in Monday’s 4-2 defeat in Tampa. The loss is among three through five games of a road trip that concludes against AL Central-leading Chicago, which leads the Twins (61-49) by 1 1/2 games.
Their latest defeat on the 10-game trek included some controversy, as Jim Thome’s(notes) apparent home run in the ninth inning was ruled a double and upheld on replay. Alexi Casilla(notes) followed with a tying two-run single, but Matt LaPorta(notes) homered in the bottom half to give Cleveland a 7-6 win.
“That was a good feeling,” LaPorta said. “I’ve never hit a walkoff. I can’t remember doing it.”
Fausto Carmona(notes) (11-8, 3.78) will try to help the Indians (47-63) to their sixth win in eight games by building on a strong effort in Monday’s 6-5 victory in Boston. After getting tagged for seven runs in a loss to the Yankees on July 28, the right-hander gave up two runs and scattered eight hits against the Red Sox for his fourth win in five starts.
Carmona, though, has had a string of disastrous outings against the Twins in recent seasons. He’s 0-5 with a 10.41 ERA in his last six matchups, losing 9-3 at Progressive Field on April 30 after giving up six runs over six innings.
Pavano went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two matchups last September against the Indians and is 1-1 with a 3.05 ERA in three career starts.
Twins catcher Joe Mauer(notes), hitting .515 (17 for 33) with 15 RBIs in his last nine games, will likely be the team’s designated hitter for the fifth straight game. Mauer has been recovering from shoulder problems, and Drew Butera(notes) was already expected to be behind the plate with Pavano starting.
“We’ll give him a couple days here to DH and go from there,” manager Ron Gardenhire told the Twins’ official website. “We still have a long ways to go in the season.”
These teams have split 10 meetings this season.