Twins-Indians Preview

One year ago on this day, the Cleveland Indians traded Carl

Pavano 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 apparent home run in the ninth inning

was ruled a double and upheld on replay. Alexi Casilla followed

with a tying two-run single, but Matt LaPorta 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 (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, 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 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.