Twins beat White Sox on Pavano's arm
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Carl Pavano kept up his recent surge with a complete-game six-hitter for the Minnesota Twins in a 4-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.
Pavano (4-5) walked three, struck out five and recorded six one-pitch outs against the free-swinging White Sox, who had won nine of their previous 13 games. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA over his last three starts, and the Twins have won 10 of their last 12 games.
Delmon Young's two-run single capped a three-run second inning against Gavin Floyd (6-6), who also went the distance.
Pavano drew a loud cheer when he walked out for the ninth, and Juan Pierre led off with an infield single and Alexei Ramirez followed with a double. He struck out Carlos Quentin and made a quick grab of Paul Konerko's right-back-at-him line drive before A.J. Pierzynski grounded out to end the game.
The series opener was wiped out by heavy rain and a thunderstorm on Tuesday, pushing starts back by one day for Floyd and Pavano. Batting practice was cut short by a downpour before this game, too, but the sky cleared and a rainbow appeared above the ballpark to set the stage for a beautiful -- if a bit cool -- early summer evening.
That's the kind of break the Twins have been enjoying lately, in contrast to all the injuries and struggles they endured in the first two months of the season.
The second inning brought more tangible examples of that good luck.
Ben Revere and Alexi Casilla hit one-out doubles down the line that bounced in the same place along the padded facade of the seating sections in foul territory, Revere's to left and Casilla's to right. Both players are fast, but the perfect carom allowed them both to easily advance -- and Revere to score.
Michael Cuddyer followed with a walk, and he and Casilla pulled off a double steal. Young then stretched the lead to 3-0 with his high-bouncing single out of the reach of the shortstop Ramirez, who might have been closer to the base for a potentially routine double play had the Twins not moved up on the steals.
The Twins stole five bases -- a career-high three by Cuddyer -- and twice bunted for singles, the kind of scrappy approach they strayed from last season -- the style that has long drawn the respect and annoyance of manager Ozzie Guillen of the rival White Sox.
Floyd, who fell to 4-9 in his career against the Twins with a 5.10 ERA, pitched his first complete game this season. He gave up an RBI double to Danny Valencia in the eighth that padded the home team's lead. Floyd walked two and struck out six, allowing 11 hits.
Starting pitching isn't the problem for the White Sox.
Konerko is still playing at an All-Star level, but the prize addition to this year's team, Adam Dunn, has disappointed so far. Alex Rios, another expensive, important part of the lineup, has been in a season-long slump, too.
Dunn drilled a leadoff double in the third inning, but Pavano deftly recovered with three straight groundouts to strand the big slugger on base. Starting pitching isn't a problem for the Twins, either. Their rotation has a 2.24 ERA in June.
Notes: White Sox RHP Jake Peavy is scheduled to start Thursday for Triple-A Charlotte on a rehab assignment for his strained right groin. Guillen said Peavy would be evaluated after that game to determine his readiness to rejoin the team -- or if he needs another turn. "It's up to how he feels, how many pitches he throws, how hard it was for him to go through it," Guillen said. ... Asked what he needs most if the White Sox turn into buyers at the trade deadline, Guillen said, "I need Rios and Dunn to start hitting." ... Rare occurrence: Each team hit into a 3-6-1 double play, Valencia in the third inning and Dunn in the fifth. ... Jim Thome (strained left quadriceps) is close to facing live pitching on his rehab assignment for the Twins. With road games against NL teams next week and no DH, the Twins could wait a bit to take him off the DL. Manager Ron Gardenhire, though, said he likes being able to use Thome as a late-inning pinch hitter, too. ... Casilla is batting .391 (25 for 64) at Target Field this season.