Indians-Twins Preview

After struggling in his team’s season opener, Carl Pavano

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 back in

the lineup and Delmon Young 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 had three RBIs, and Jason Repko and Danny Valencia

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 (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.”