There are seven games remaining in the 2011 Major League Baseball season for the Minnesota Twins, and four of them will take place at Progressive Field starting on Friday night. Minnesota is traveling for a four-game set with the Cleveland Indians, a series that will include a double-header on Saturday.
The Twins snapped their 11-game losing streak with a victory over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday afternoon, and now no longer have a shot to be the worst team in franchise history since moving to Minnesota. With a record of 60-95 and seven games remaining on the slate, the worst the Twins could do is tie the 1982 club for the worst record in Minnesota Twins history. That would require them to lose all seven of their remaining games and drop their record to 60-102.
In order to prevent that from happening, the Twins will dispatch right-hander Carl Pavano (8-13, 4.40 ERA) to the mound to start on Friday night. Pavano has faced the Indians four times this season, including his most recent start this past Sunday. In that start, Pavano worked 6.2 innings, allowing six hits and four runs (only one of which was earned) in what wound up being a 6-5 Minnesota loss. For the year against the Tribe, Pavano has an ERA of 1.93 in 28 innings pitched.
He will be matched up against Cleveland right-hander Justin Masterson (12-10, 3.15 ERA). Masterson has four appearances against the Twins this season, and was also opposite Pavano in the game on Sunday. He wound up getting the victory, allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits in six innings of work. In 29.1 innings pitched against Minnesota this season, Masterson's ERA is an impressive 1.53.
First pitch from Cleveland is scheduled for 6:05 PM Central time. Be sure to check out Twinkie Town for their Game Thread when it gets up and running, and come on back here for your recap.