The Minnesota Twins entered Saturday with the majors' worst earned-run average from their starting pitchers. With opening day starter Carl Pavano going to the mound, Minnesota was looking for a little relief fromits starting pitching.
Pavano matched Tampa Bay Rays all-star pitcher James Shields for five innings, giving the Twins the starting pitching they've needed for much of this season. Pavano (1-2) limited Tampa Bay to five hits in the first five innings, but ran into a little bit of trouble in the sixth and Minnesota lost 4-1 to the Rays.
"I thought I was mixing my pitches really well," Pavano said. "What hurt me a little bit was I went through a lot of good pitches the first time through the lineup, and the second and third times they had seen it and were fighting them off, seven, eight pitch at-bats and it wore me down a little bit."
Joe Mauer had two hits for the Twins, to run his batting average at Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field to .446 and J...