Silva shakes off the distractions

Trade rumors had been weighing on the pitcher, but Saturday he was calm and threw six solid innings to help the Twins beat the Royals.

Trade rumors were on Carlos Silva's mind throughout the summer. He knew teams were scouting him and that the Twins could have dealt him for offensive help — or to cut payroll.

Philadelphia, his original organization, tailed him for weeks as it tried to pry him away before the July 31 nonwaiver deadline, and still had interest in August, when deals could be made after a player cleared waivers.

Silva on Saturday woke up and didn't have to fire up the computer to read the latest rumors. He's here, for now, which is where he wants to be.

The peace of mind allowed him to focus better as he helped the Twins beat Kansas City 6-4. The Twins won two of three games played over 25 hours at the Metrodome.

Silva didn't have his best stuff — Alex Gordon pounded a 406-foot homer off him in the fifth — but he did enough to improve to 11-13 and match his victory total from last season.

His offseason hope: to try to re-sign with the Twins instead of hitting the free-agent market.

"The last time I pitched in Cleveland [a 3 2/3-inning outing Monday] I had more in my mind than the game," said Silva, who is making $4.35 million this season. "I look at coaches to see what's going on. I would like to stay here; I will not lie to you guys. It means a lot for me. This team gave me a chance to be a starter.

"I'm going to pitch no matter what. I'm not trying to make excuses, but that [Cleveland] game I was thinking, 'I'm going to be there and I'm not going to be here.' To have that going on is a bad feeling for me and my family."

The season has been eventful. Silva was 0-3 with a 11.02 ERA in spring training but was named to the starting rotation — a controversial decision. He had a 3.10 ERA in April. In June, his son, Justin, was born. In July, he posted a 5.84 ERA.

Now Silva is 11-13 overall with a 4.34 ERA. Take out his 6.65 ERA in starts against Cleveland, and his ERA would be 4.01.

"From the start of the season, there were a lot of naysayers and a lot of doubters about what he could do and what he could get done," Twins manger Ron Gardenhire said. "I think he's given us an opportunity to win a lot of baseball games, and he continues to do that."

Silva gave up two runs in the second as the Royals took a 2-1 lead. The Twins tied it in the bottom of the inning when Luis Rodriguez scored on Tony Pena Jr.'s throwing error.

Gordon's homer in the fifth gave the Royals a 3-2 lead, but Silva did enough to get through six and hand the ball to the bullpen. The Twins scored four in the fifth, including Mike Redmond's two-run double.

Silva can make himself valuable by grinding out six-inning outings. "He wants to pitch here. He loves it here," Gardenhire said. "Those are things we can't control in this room. All I can do is have my say in it.

"As a manager, you like guys who eat up innings. He roots for the guys from the bench. Every once in a while he gets a little wacky on us out there, but all pitchers do. We have a lot of fun with him."

  • TWINS 6, KANSAS CITY 4 Up next: vs. Kansas City • 1:10 p.m. today • Ch. 29/FSN • 1500-AM

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