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Updated: September 18th, 2011 4:33pm
Twins Daily: Pavano has 'failed some of these young guys this year'

Twins Daily: Pavano has 'failed some of these young guys this year'

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Trailing 3-0 heading into the seventh inning, the Cleveland Indians batted around and scored six -- led mostly by the four RBIs by Shelley Duncan -- to secure a 6-5 win over the Minnesota Twins on a soggy Sunday afternoon at Target Field.

The skinny

This is not a typo:

Jim Thome's infield single in the seventh inning drove home the go-ahead run for Cleveland.

An infield single. By Jim Thome.

Just another strange way for the Twins to lose a ballgame in a season of futility.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the seventh, Thome broke a 3-3 tie by beating out a broken-bat, slow-roller for an infield single off Glen Perkins. The next batter, Shelley Duncan, followed with a bases-clearing double into the left-field corner to cap a six-run inning that gave the Indians a 6-3 lead.

Duncan also started the frame with a solo homer off Carl Pavano, who cruised through six until stalling in the seventh. Pavano was charged with four runs (one earned) on five hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out six and walking one.

"It's disappointing," Pavano said. "I mean, how that game got away is beyond me."

The Twins' offense scratched across three runs against right-hander Justin Masterson, who allowed an RBI groundout to Joe Benson in the second and an RBI single to Brian Dinkelman in the sixth. The Twins also scored in the fourth inning when catcher Lou Marson's throwing error on a Benson stolen base attempt brought Luke Hughes home from third.

The Twins threatened again in the bottom of the eighth while trailing 6-3, loading the bases with two outs, but after right-hander Vinnie Pestano walked pinch-hitter Danny Valencia and Ben Revere to make it 6-5, Trevor Plouffe popped out to end the inning.

The Twins dropped to 59-92 with the loss, and frustration appears to be at a season-high.

"Carl pitched his ass off," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

"Unfortunately for us, we couldn't throw the ball over the plate. They have a big inning, but to the guys' credit they came battling back. We gave ourselves a chance there at the end, but really frustrating."

Turning point

In the heat of the moment, Pavano didn't hide his frustration. But in the clubhouse afterward, the veteran right-hander showed compassion.

Duncan's solo homer started the scoring for Cleveland in the seventh, but trouble didn't really start brewing for Pavano until first baseman Chris Parmelee's bobble allowed Lonnie Chisenhall to reach safely with nobody out.

The next batter, Jason Donald, flew out, and Ezequiel Carrera then bounced one right back to the mound for what looked like a potential inning-ending double play. Pavano bare-handed the ball and quickly threw to second, but Carrera barely beat the play at first base to keep the inning alive.

Pavano then gave up a single to Marson, followed by a walk to Kosuke Fukudome on a pitch that narrowly missed the inside corner, loading the bases with two outs.

Having thrown 105 pitches, Pavano was visibly frustrated when Gardenhire came out to make a pitching change, but he left to a loud ovation.

"I really think I've failed some of these young guys this year," said Pavano, who has been the victim of poor infield defense on several occasions this season. "I feel like I've let my frustration get the best of me and (I'm) not as understanding as I should be, to be honest with you. And I've kind of let myself down in that aspect.

"I could definitely do a better job of being a guy that these guys will go to, but I think this has been a frustrating year for everyone, and we're wearing a lot of our frustration on our sleeves. I can speak for myself. I definitely am."

Jose Mijares proceeded to issue a bases-loaded walk to Jason Kipnis that brought the Indians within a run at 3-2. After another pitching change, Alex Burnett walked Carlos Santana to tie the game.

Thome's infield single and Duncan's double followed.

"Missed a routine play to start the inning off, and then I think we had three walks in the inning," Gardenhire said. "You've got to throw the ball over the plate, we didn't do it. As a manager, it's my fault. I brought the guys in with the expectations we'd throw the ball over the plate and take our chances, and they didn't do it. So I'll take this one. It's on me. I made the moves."

Numbers game

$20,000: Money given to the Twins by the Indians to complete last month's Jim Thome trade, according to multiple reports.

3: Strikeouts for Thome against Pavano in three at-bats prior to the infield single.

3: Groundouts to the pitcher by Twins' hitters in the bottom of the seventh inning.

4: Hits for Dinkelman, who went 4-for-5 with four singles. Dinkelman also had three hits in Saturday's game.

13: The number of times the Twins have been swept this season -- the most since 1978, when the team was swept 17 times (hat tip to Elias Sports Bureau).

Health report

• OF Jason Repko left the game after being hit in the helmet by a Masterson fastball in the bottom of the sixth inning. He appeared woozy as he was helped off the field and was later sent to HCMC for further evaluation. Repko was back in the clubhouse hallway after the game and said he was "feeling a lot better" than when he was initially helped off the field.

• 1B Justin Morneau (mild concussion symptoms) has been shut down for the rest of the season. The team also announced that Morneau will undergo minor knee and foot surgery later this week. As for the concussion symptoms, Morneau said a recent impact test showed that not everything is right yet. He will lay low until mid- to late-October. "I felt good before this last incident," Morneau said. "I felt back to normal. I was starting to not even think about it when I was out there, but hopefully I can get back to that point this winter and have a good offseason of rest and come back ready to go."

• C Joe Mauer, shut down for the season with pneumonia, is still suffering from body aches and a persistent cough, according to head athletic trainer Rick McWane. Mauer has been instructed by doctors to stay away from the ballpark until further notice.

• OF Jason Kubel (sprained foot) will be limited to pinch-hitting duties for the remainder of the season.

• 2B Alexi Casilla is scheduled to test out his hamstring on Tuesday. It's still possible he could return for the final week of the season.

• RHP Scott Baker (elbow) threw a successful bullpen session on Saturday, and he is likely to be available out of the bullpen starting on Tuesday.

On deck

The Twins will head to New York for a makeup game against the New York Yankees on Monday (12:10 p.m., 1500 ESPN).

Yankees' right-hander Phil Hughes was scratched from his scheduled start with back spasms, so right-hander A.J. Burnett will pitch instead against Twins' left-hander Scott Diamond (1-4, 3.94).

Several Twins players will not travel, including all five other starting pitchers (Pavano, Kevin Slowey, Anthony Swarzak and Liam Hendriks), and injured players Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Alexi Casilla, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Nick Blackburn and Scott Baker.

The Twins are 2-5 in seven games against the Yankees this season and 20-62 against the Pinstripers under Gardenhire.

Coming up

• Tuesday: vs. Mariners, 7:10 p.m. RHP Liam Hendriks (0-2, 6.00) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (8-13, 4.38)
• Wednesday: vs. Mariners, 7:10 p.m. RHP Kevin Slowey (0-6, 6.51) vs. RHP Michael Pineda (9-10, 3.72)
• Thursday: vs. Mariners, 12:10 p.m. RHP Anthony Swarzak (3-7, 4.52) vs. RHP Blake Beavan (5-5, 3.92)

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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