Twins 7, Indians 2: Pavano Strong Again as Twins Pull Away Late

One year ago to the day that the Twins acquired Carl Pavano from the Indians, he beats them.

By the way, if anyone is wondering what Yohan Pino is up to, he's up to about 5.87.

Jason Kubel led off the top of the second with his 15th home run of the season, and Joe Mauer laced a single into center to score Alexi Casilla in the third, giving Pavano an early 2-0 lead. Casilla, who had made a heads-up play by advancing to second base as Shin-Soo Choo fielded the ball down the line and had to pull up and throw left handed, made an awkward slide at the plate and was taken out of the game. X-rays revealed a bone spur, and he's supposed to be getting an MRI this morning.

And so, instead of the Twins sending down Jose Morales when they activate Orlando Hudson today, Morales might stay with the team if Casilla has to hit the disabled list. It'd be a shame as he'd been playing so well; he was 2-for-2 before exiting the game.

Meanwhile, Pavano allowed a couple of hits and a bleeder through the infield in the fourth, allowing Cleveland to momentarily tie the game at two. But it wouldn't last.

Michael Cuddyer led off the seventh with his 26th double of the season (and 199th career double), and scored two batters later on J.J. Hardy's single into center. The Twins would double their score the next inning as Trevor Plouffe took a Fausto Carmona fastball and drilled it through the power alley in right-center field and over the fence for his first major league home run. Joe Mauer's 36th double, Jason Kubel's walk, Cuddyer's single and a sharp double down the left field line by Danny Valencia added two more. Kubel would double in the ninth to score Mauer, capping off the night's scoring.

Pavano wasn't as sharp as we'd seen him over the last couple of months, allowing seven hits and four walks in his seven innings of work, but he came up with some big pitches when he needed them...and it didn't hurt that the Indians' offense isn't all that great, anyway. From the fourth inning onward, Cleveland would always have at least one base runner. But a great running catch by Kubel ended the fourth, Drew Butera threw out Asdrubal Cabrera trying to steal to end the fifth and Pavano picked up a huge strikeout of Shelley Duncan to leave the bases loaded in the seventh. Job done.

Studs

Carl Pavano: 7 IP, 7 H, 6 K, 4 BB, 2 R, .223 WPA
Joe Mauer: 4-for-5, 2B, RBI, 2 R, .159 WPA
Jason Kubel: 2-for-3, HR, 2B, BB, 2 RBI, 2 R, .069 WPA
Michael Cuddyer: 3-for-5, 2B, RBI, R, .129 WPA
Alexi Casilla: 2-for-2, 2B, R, .062 WPA

Duds

Delmon Young: 0-for-5, -.114 WPA
Denard Span: 0-for-5, -.111 WPA
Chris Gimenez: His back foot.

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