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Updated: August 7th, 2010 9:38pm
Pavano, acquired by Twins one year ago, solid again in 7-2 victory

Pavano, acquired by Twins one year ago, solid again in 7-2 victory

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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Behind another strong performance by Carl Pavano, the Minnesota Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 7-2 on Saturday night.

Pavano (14-7, 3.28) tossed seven innings, allowing two earned runs on seven hits and four walks. He struck out six and threw 108 pitches.

The Twins, wearing replica uniforms of the 1909 St. Paul Gophers Negro League team, improved to 62-49 on the season, but still sit 1.5 games behind the White Sox, who beat the Orioles 4-2.

One year ago Saturday, the Twins acquired Pavano from the Indians for a player to be named later (Yohan Pino), and in retrospect it may have been one of the best trades in franchise history.

The Twins were 53-55 at the time of the trade, and thanks to help from Pavano and various other players, they eventually surged to a 34-21 finish and division title.

Pino, 26, has spent a considerable amount of time pitching out of the bullpen over the past few years, but the Indians have him chucking solely as a starter at Class-AAA Columbus. Pino has a 5.87 ERA with 85 strikeouts, 40 walks, 21 home runs allowed and only 34% groundballs induced in 112 innings. He has shown flashes of dominance at the lower levels, but hasn't yet translated that success to the higher levels.

Pavano, on the other hand, has become arguably the Twins' most consistent starter in 2010. Since coming to Minnesota last summer, Pavano is 19-11 with a 3.71 ERA and a 3.68 FIP in 235 1/3 innings. He also has 152 strikeouts to only 44 walks.

Over that period, only six pitchers have thrown more innings than Pavano -- Felix Hernandez (260 2/3), Roy Halladay (260), Adam Wainwright (244), Chris Carpenter (241), Justin Verlander (238) and Bronson Arroyo (237 2/3).

A similar trade brewing this season? Don't bet on it.

It's still possible the Twins could make a similar trade before the end of August this season, although that notion seems unlikely if Scott Baker and Kevin Slowey continue to pitch well.

For the Twins, the top waiver trade candidates would be American League pitchers who have reasonable contracts that expire either after 2010 or after 2011. Players from the National League must pass through all 16 NL teams

The only players who potentially fit that mold are Jeremy Bonderman, Brian Bannister, Kevin Millwood, Scott Feldman and maybe Rich Harden. And Harden may actually wind up playing a key role for the contending Rangers down the stretch.

Look for the Twins to stick with Baker and Slowey.

Casilla hurts ankle

Alexi Casilla left the game in the third inning after tweaking his ankle on a slide at home plate.

According to the Star Tribune, X-rays showed a bone chip, and MRI results were not available. The Twins will make a roster decision before Sunday's game when Orlando Hudson is slated to make his return.

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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