An early Father's Day gift

Carlos Silva has a newborn son and a reborn sinker, which he used to handcuff the Atlanta Braves for his second career shutout.

Twins righthander Carlos Silva pumped his right fist in the air and pointed into the stands moments after the second shutout of his career helped the Twins beat Atlanta 6-0 on Wednesday night.

It wasn't even a close second to his greatest achievement of the week.

Silva headed back to Abbott Northwestern Hospital after the game to be with his wife, Maria, and newborn son, Justin. Justin, the couple's first child, was born at 5:07 a.m. Tuesday. Silva showed no signs of postbirth hubris -- or did he? -- as he shut down the Braves.

The Boston Red Sox have David Ortiz, nicknamed "Big Papi."

The Twins have Silva, "New Papi."

Throwing a baseball might never have been as easy for Silva after experiencing the nervousness a first-time father feels.

"They asked me one time, 'You need something?' " Silva said. "I said, 'Yeah, bring me another pair of shoes,' because I was walking all over."

Silva said all his pitches worked as he scattered eight hits, walked no one and struck out two. He got 15 outs on ground balls, including three double plays.

"I think you saw a pretty impressive pitching performance by Carlos with a lot of enthusiasm," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, "and with a lot of thoughts on his wife and son."

Silva and his wife weren't alone at the hospital. Twins reliever Juan Rincon and his wife, Roselen, were in a neighboring room. Both couples had labor induced at about the same time, by the same doctor. They didn't know a teammate's wife was their neighbor until later that afternoon, but it made the experience even more enjoyable.

Rincon's son, Santiago Rafael, was born at 4:03 a.m. Tuesday. Both Twins pitchers stayed up all night, and Silva always intended to make his next start.

"It was funny," Rincon said. "It was different. We ate together everywhere. We went down and ate fast food like three different times. We went to my room with his family. I went over to his room. It was pretty cool."

Babies seem to be a positive influence on the Twins. Joe Nathan's wife, Lisa, gave birth to a daughter, Riley, on April 4 when the Twins beat Baltimore. Johan Santana's wife, Yasmile, gave birth to a daughter, Jasmine, less than an hour before Santana started an April 2005 game against Kansas City. Yasmile told Santana the show must go on, and Santana got a no-decision in a Twins victory.

"It's all about the family," Santana said. "They keep you motivated to do those types of things."

Silva gave each of his teammates and coaches a bottle of champagne to celebrate his new arrival. His teammates gave him a 6-0 lead through three innings. Funny how that works.

The Twins scored two runs in the first inning to give Silva an early lead, then buried the Braves with a solo home run by Lew Ford in the second inning and back-to-back homers in the third, a two-run shot by Justin Morneau and a solo blast by Torii Hunter.

Silva gave up leadoff hits in the first four innings but later cruised, retiring 13 of 15 to finish the game.

Afterward, Silva was headed to be with his expanded family.

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