Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 6/1/12
For a pitcher who prides himself on being an innings-eater, Twins starter Carl Pavano's last two outings have been two steps backward, a disappointing trend for the 36-year-old right-hander. Pavano was pulled from Friday's game in Cleveland after just 3-23 innings, one start after lasing only 4-13 innings against Detroit. He allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits Friday, including a grand slam. It was Pavano's shortest start since April 18, 2010, when he went just 3-13 innings for the Twins against Kansas City. "It just didn't go his way," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Pavano. Pavano escaped a scoreless first inning thanks to a sliding catch by left fielder Josh Willingham. The play robbed Jose Lopez of a base hit and stranded Jason Kipnis on the base paths. But Pavano went on to give up runs in each of the next three innings. Lonnie Chisenhall hit a two-run homer in the second inning, driving in Johnny Damon and giving Cleveland a 2-0 lead. Chisenhall's homer came on an 0-2 pitch from Pavano. "I think he tried to throw a slider down and just didn't get it in the dirt," Gardenhire said. "The guy put a nice swing on the ball that really wasn't a strike. But normally with Carl, he gets that ball where he wants to, down and off the plate. . . . He didn't get it to where he wanted to, and it wasn't that bad of a pitch." After Michael Brantley doubled in an unearned run in the third inning, the Indians delivered the knockout punch in the form of a Jason Kipnis grand slam. Pavano loaded the bases by giving up a one-out single to Chisenhall, then walking Lou Marson and giving up another base hit to Shin-Soo Choo. Then, on the first offering from Pavano, Kipnis sent his first career grand slam over the right-center field fence to put Cleveland up 7-0, a lead Indians starter Derek Lowe would not relinquish. "He got the ball up there with the bases loaded and two outs, a changeup that was just up and the guy hits it out of the ballpark," Gardenhire said. "Then you end up with a big score out there. This wasn't one of his better performances." Pavano's abbreviated outing set the table for Minnesota's 7-1 loss, which snapped a three-game winning streak after the Twins swept the Oakland A's earlier this week. Minnesota has only been able to go as far as its starting pitching could take it, and Pavano didn't take the Twins very far on Friday. "He just didn't get it done," Gardenhire said. "It's been a struggle for him so far. We'll see where we go from here." Pavano has battled shoulder inflammation this season, which has led to a decrease in his velocity and lower pitch counts in many of his starts. Prior to Friday, he exceeded 80 pitches just once in his last five starts. Three times during that stretch, he threw fewer than 70 pitches. It took him 71 pitches to labor through 3-13 innings Friday. After the game, Gardenhire was asked if Pavano's shoulder was still an issue. "We'll discuss all those things after the ball game and figure out (Saturday) where we're at with him and see how he's doing," Gardenhire said. "If he's not healthy, we won't (keep putting him out there), but no one's told me he's not healthy. "We know he's been fighting through the arm thing. He's able to pitch through it. We'll talk about this tomorrow and see where we go." Robby Incmikoski contributed to this report. Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jets reportedly fire offensive coordinator John Morton

Report: Tarik Black was Rocket who knocked on Clippers’ door

Report: SEC could block Alabama from hiring Hugh Freeze

Kevin Garnett, Tony Allen also shade Isaiah Thomas over Celtics tribute

Mike Tomlin confirms Todd Haley out as OC

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bortles grateful for teammates' support amid heavy criticism

MLB blames Scott Boras for slow free agent market

Spurs announce Kawhi Leonard is out indefinitely

Report: Red Sox have offered Martinez five years, $100M

Pirates fan starts petition requesting MLB to force owner to sell team

Report: Big Ben ‘massively frustrated’ with Tomlin

The 'Fumble and The Miss' quiz

NFL Championship Weekend Predictions: History will be made in the NFC

Johnny Gaudreau, Flames hope layoff won't cool them down

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: The Saints miss an important long-distance call

Ranking baseball's GMs entering the 2018 season

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

College basketball’s most underrated stars

Best performances in the history of NFL Conference Championship games

The 'All Jolly Rogers at half-mast' quiz

Eight gutsy NBA trade deadline deals that would turn the tide

Best players to debut on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Ranking baseball's GMs entering the 2018 season

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: The Saints miss an important long-distance call

Johnny Gaudreau, Flames hope layoff won't cool them down

The 'Fumble and The Miss' quiz

NFL Championship Weekend Predictions: History will be made in the NFC

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

The 'All Jolly Rogers at half-mast' quiz

Best players to debut on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

The 'It's a walk-off!" quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker