(Sports Network) – Carl Pavano’s remarkable campaign continued against an American League bottom-feeder, as Minnesota blanked Baltimore, 5-0, in the first of four games at Camden Yards.
One season removed from a 5-plus earned run average while toiling in Cleveland, Pavano (12-6) now holds a 3.26 ERA and worked his fourth complete game in his last seven starts. The right-hander scattered five hits and one walk around four strikeouts.
The right-hander has won a career-best seven straight decisions and is unbeaten over a nine-start span dating back to June 9. The Twins have won all but one of those games.
Delmon Young’s torrid tear led to three more RBI and Michael Cuddyer hit a solo shot for the Twins, who have won two straight.
Kevin Millwood (2-9) returned from a brief stint on the disabled list to take the loss, giving up five runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and three walks over 6 1/3 frames. He’s 0-9 lifetime against the Twins.
Cesar Izturis doubled, one of two Baltimore extra-base hits, in defeat. The Orioles have lost two straight and six of seven overall.
The Twins jumped on Millwood in a three-run first, all started by Joe Mauer’s two-out double to left. Jason Kubel then walked and Cuddyer patiently worked a five-pitch free pass before Young cleared the bases with his 28th double of the season.
Cuddyer deposited a ball into the left-field seats in the fourth for a 4-0 edge and a wild — and argumentative — top of the seventh opened a five-run edge.
J.J. Hardy, who singled off Miguel Tejada’s glove, tried scampering back to first and first baseman Ty Wigginton attempted to apply a tag. Replays showed he clipped Hardy’s hand before the runner reached back to first base, but umpire Gary Darling saw otherwise, calling him safe and uncorking an explosive escapade from Wigginton, who appeared to bump Darling when he was ejected.
Hardy moved to second on a groundout and scored on Drew Butera’s single to center. The stop in action prompted an argument from Orioles manager Juan Samuel, who left home plate umpire Bill Hahn know his feelings on Darling’s call, resulting in another ejection.
Pavano pitched his seventh career shutout and his 12th career complete game…Baltimore dropped to 17-31 at home this season…Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz was also ejected in the seventh frame.