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Pavano Pounded Again As Twins Drop Second Straight

The Minnesota Twins lost their second straight game on Sunday afternoon, as right-hander Carl Pavano had his second straight disappointing start.

Pavano allowed seven runs on ten hits in five innings, and the Red Sox blasted the Twins after falling behind early, taking the third of this four-game set by a final score of 9-5 at Fenway Park. It was the second consecutive start that Pavano has allowed seven runs. Pavano now has the highest ERA of any of the Twins' starting pitchers, as his 6.64 is just a slight bit higher than Francisco Liriano's 6.61 mark.

The Twins actually jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, as Denard Span singled and stole second to get things started. After Trevor Plouffe walked and Justin Morneau struck out against Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jason Kubel singled to bring home Span. Michael Cuddyer's ground out moved the runners to second and third, and Danny Valencia brought home both runners with a single to center field.

Boston got one back on an RBI ground out by J.D. Drew in the bottom of the second, and then went to town in the bottom of the third when they put four runs on the board while batting around. Jason Varitek, Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis, and J.D. Drew all drove in runs for the Red Sox in that inning.

Danny Valencia got one of those runs back for the Twins when he hit a solo blast off the foul pole on top of the Green Monster to lead off the fifth, making it 5-4, but the Red Sox got two more in the bottom of the frame. The first came on a solo home run by Gonzalez, and the second came on what should have been an inning-ending double play, but Alexi Casilla made yet another error, allowing Youkilis to score.

The Red Sox extended the lead to 9-4 in the bottom of the seventh, as Jed Lowrie's double plated two more for Boston. The Twins closed out the scoring in the top of the eighth with an RBI single by Jason Kubel to give us a final score of 9-5.

Matsuzaka got the victory to even his record at 3-3 on the season, while the loss for Pavano drops his record to 2-4.

The series finale will take place tomorrow at Fenway Park, with first pitch scheduled for 6:10 PM Central time. Nick Blackburn (2-4, 4.41 ERA) will take the mound for Minnesota, while the Red Sox will send Josh Beckett (2-1, 2.35) to the hill.

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