Cleveland (13-7) at Minnesota (8-12)

Fair Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 87° F
  • Game info: 2:10 pm EDT Sun Apr 24, 2011
  • TV: STO, FSNO
Preview | Box Score | Recap

After struggling in his team’s season opener, Carl Pavano(notes) bounced back with a pair of spectacular outings. Now he looks to respond in similar fashion.

The Minnesota Twins right-hander is coming off another dreadful performance entering Sunday’s matchup with his former team, the Cleveland Indians.

Pavano (1-2, 5.47 ERA) opened his 13th major league campaign by allowing eight runs and three homers over four innings in a 13-3 loss at Toronto on April 1. He shook off that outing to give up one run over his next two starts, pitching eight innings in each, but heads into this one after an 11-0 loss in Baltimore on Tuesday.

Pavano gave up another eight runs over 4 2-3 innings. He issued three walks in that game and has eight for the season, a total he didn’t reach last year until his ninth start.

“He’s going to have to come out and find a way to motivate himself and pitch and get the ball where he wants to,” manager Ron Gardenhire told the team’s official website. “He’s experimenting with a lot of different things right now, so he’s going to have to keep battling through it, and then we’ll get him back out there again and again until he finds his release point and all those things, and gets comfortable with what he needs to do.”

Pavano might get comfortable taking on the Indians (13-7), for whom he started 21 games before being traded to Minnesota on Aug. 7, 2009. He’s faced them four times since then, going 1-2 with a 3.33 ERA, and split two matchups last season while allowing two runs in each.

He has received just four runs of support through four starts but could be in line to get more help with Justin Morneau(notes) back in the lineup and Delmon Young(notes) possibly returning. Young has missed the past four games with an illness and a rib injury.

Morneau came back Saturday in a 10-3 win, contributing a two-run single and finishing 2 for 5 after missing five games with the flu.

Jason Kubel(notes) had three RBIs, and Jason Repko(notes) and Danny Valencia(notes) drove in two runs apiece as Minnesota (8-12) scored in double digits for the first time. The Twins came into this rain-shortened, two-game series with a major league-worst 57 runs in 19 games.

“It seemed like everybody clicked,” Valencia said. “To score a lot of runs like that, it was much needed and it was a long time coming.”

Carlos Carrasco(notes) (1-1, 4.85) will try to keep the Twins from repeating that performance and help the first-place Indians avoid their first three-game losing streak.

The right-hander also struggled in his season debut, allowing seven runs over 6 2-3 innings April 2 against the Chicago White Sox, but has surrendered three runs or fewer in his three subsequent starts.

Carrasco got one run of support during his two games last season against the Twins and took the loss in one of those, 5-1 at Target Field on Sept. 22.

That defeat is part of Cleveland’s current six-game losing streak to Minnesota. The Indians have averaged 2.2 runs during that skid.

“We come out and we respect everybody, but we don’t fear anybody,” manager Manny Acta said. “You have to respect people. We know they are good, but these kids they go after it.”

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Starting Pitchers

C. Carrasco Cle vs. C. Pavano Min
8-9 Record 9-13
4.62 ERA 4.30
85 K 102
40 BB 40
1.36 WHIP 1.36

Scoreboard

Sunday, Apr 24