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Updated: March 12th, 2011 7:12pm
Live from Florida, Day 24: Pavano sizzling; Cuddyer takes BP

Live from Florida, Day 24: Pavano sizzling; Cuddyer takes BP

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A rundown of the news, notes and quotes from Saturday at Minnesota Twins spring training:

Today's result

Cardinals 3, Twins 2

• RHP Carl Pavano pitched four scoreless innings, allowing five hits and striking out two.

• C Drew Butera reached base three times in three plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with two singles and a walk.

Who's hot:

• Pavano has now thrown 13 scoreless innings this spring, allowing nine hits and one walk while striking out seven.

• With a hit in three trips to the plate on Saturday, Denard Span is now hitting .333/.346/.417 with two stolen bases this spring.

Numbers game

59: The number of players in major-league camp for the Twins this spring training. That number will likely go down on Monday, as first cuts are expected to take place.

4: The number of starting pitchers who have solidified spots in the starting rotation -- Pavano, Francisco Liriano, Nick Blackburn and Brian Duensing. And those four pitchers will start the season in that exact order, Gardenhire told reporters on Saturday. The fifth spot is still up for grabs between Scott Baker and Kevin Slowey.

Health watch

• OF Michael Cuddyer (foot) took batting practice with teammates for the first time since having his wart removed two weeks ago. Cuddyer reported no issues, and he even spent time after workouts sneaking up behind teammates in the clubhouse with an air horn.

• RHP Anthony Slama (elbow) is currently playing catch from 60 feet as part of a seven-day throwing program. A recent MRI on Slama's elbow showed no structural damage, but a "stress reaction" -- as the right-hander described it -- is sometimes a precursor to a stress fracture, which is why the trainers are being cautious. Slama said he is optimistic he will be able to throw from a mound in five days when his program allows for it.

• C Joe Mauer (knee) caught his first bullpen session of spring training on Saturday, and he said being ready for opening day was "never a doubt." It's possible Mauer could be penciled in the lineup as a designated hitter sometime this week.

Overheard

"Did you see a changeup out of my hand? Joe Mauer said, 'Yes, absolutely. and I would have hit a double off the left-field fence.'"
-- Kevin Slowey, asking backup catcher Danny Lehmann during a bullpen session if he was tipping pitches.

On deck

The Twins will play two split-squad games on Sunday -- at Tampa against the Yankees and at home in Fort Myers against the Phillies.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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