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"I Looked Absolutely Ridiculous," Pavano said. "The Guys Told Me I Looked Like I Had a Diaper On."

Mr. Baggypants wins 14th in style as Twins topple Cleveland

 

Carl Pavano moved into a tie for the league lead in wins after shutting down the Indians, despite jibes about his throwback attire.

 

By JOE CHRISTENSEN, Minneapolis Star Tribune

 

Last update: August 8, 2010 - 12:06 AM

 

CLEVELAND — With the Twins draped in navy blue throwback uniforms Saturday, honoring the 1909 St. Paul Gophers in a tribute to the Negro Leagues, Carl Pavano had his sleeves trimmed in half but couldn't do anything about his pants.

 

"I looked absolutely ridiculous," Pavano said. "The guys told me I looked like I had a diaper on. I really appreciate that from my teammates before I'm going out there to pitch, but that's the kind of relationship we have."

 

On the one-year anniversary of his trade from Cleveland to Minnesota, Pavano showed just how comfortable and just how valuable he's become.

 

The righthander held Cleveland to two runs over seven innings, tying him with David Price and CC Sabathia for the American League lead with 14 wins, as the Twins defeated the Indians 7-2 at Progressive Field.

 

J.J. Hardy broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning with an RBI single off Fausto Carmona (11-9), and the Twins pulled away for their third victory in four games.

 

Joe Mauer went 4-for-5, raising his average to .322, Jason Kubel hit his 15th home run, and Trevor Plouffe added his first career homer, but Pavano's performance stood out once again.

 

Pavano improved to 14-7 on the season and 19-11 since coming to the Twins last year in a trade for righthander Yohan Pino, who is 8-6 with a 5.87 ERA for Class AAA Columbus.

 

"Last year [Pavano] came in and pitched a lot of big games for us," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He knows how to pitch, knows how to handle big situations. Lots of our guys are learning from him."

 

Cleveland had seven hits and four walks against Pavano, but he never buckled. The Indians put runners on second and third with one out in the sixth and seventh innings, while the game still was close, and both times Pavano escaped unscathed.

 

"They had me on the ropes the whole game," Pavano said. "They had plenty of opportunities to put me away

 

With a Negro League Hall of Fame exhibit at the ballpark, the Indians dressed as the 1946 Cleveland Buckeyes.

 

"It's part of history, and any time we can be part of history to make it more fun for the fans is good," Pavano said. "We had some laughs with it. They were all over me, and I didn't argue with them because I did get a couple glimpses, and I couldn't look any longer because it was terrible. It was really terrible."

 

His results certainly weren't terrible, as he notched his AL-leading eighth road victory. Pavano didn't need a throwback uniform to turn back the clock. He has been doing that all season, bringing back memories to 2004, when he went 18-8 with a 3.00 ERA for the Florida Marlins.

 

"He's not only pitching well for us," Gardenhire said. "He's a leader and fun to have around

 

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Taken on August 7, 2010