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Pavano Shuts Down Mets as Twins Win 6-0

When challenged by Philadelphia's Roy Halladay in his last start, Carl Pavano responded by hurling a complete game three-hitter as the Twins defeated the Phillies.  Today, with his team riding a four-game losing streak and matched up against former Twin Johan Santana, Pavano responded by. . .hurling a three-hit complete game shutout.

I like the way this guy handles adversity.

Pavano. . .led, as always, by his mustache. . .halted the Twins' four-game losing streak with a masterful performance on Saturday afternoon, and his teammates jumped on their former teammate early and often as they defeated the New York Mets 6-0 at Citi Field.

The fireworks started right away for the Twins, as they hung up a four spot in the top of the first inning, making Santana throw 41 pitches in the process.  Joe Mauer started things off by bringing in Orlando Hudson with an RBI double, and after a balk by Santana (advancing Mauer to second), a fly out by Justin Morneau, and a walk to Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel lifted a ground-rule double to left field to score Mauer.  Delmon Young then continued his run of good play with another double, this one bringing both Cuddyer and Kubel in to score and staking Pavano to a 4-0 lead.

The Twins added another run in the top of the fourth on a Denard Span double that brought Nick Punto around to score, although Span got thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.  Jason Kubel then concluded the scoring in the ninth with a solo home run to right off of Fernando Nieve.

But the day belonged to Pavano.  He only retired three batters via the strikeout, and only six outs reached the outfield.  It was his second straight dominant performance when the Twins needed one.  The victory raised his record on the year to 9-6, and his ERA dropped to 3.33.  Johan Santana. . .who it appears was traded by Minnesota at just the right time. . .allowed at least four runs for the fourth straight start.  He now sports a 5-5 record with a 3.55 ERA.

Tomorrow is the rubber game of the series, as the Twins will send Scott Baker (6-6, 4.61 ERA) to the mound against Jonathon Niese (4-2, 4.17).  First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 PM Central time from Citi Field.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.