MILWAUKEE - Carl Pavano will enter his start Saturday against the Brewers feeling healthier than he has in recent weeks.
The Twins righthander, who has been battling a slight shoulder strain, stayed in the Twin Cities for treatment Wednesday and Thursday while his teammates played two games in Detroit. Pavano rejoined the club Friday.
"The shoulder is getting stronger," he said.
The strain has kept Pavano from throwing as hard as he would like. His fastball has been around 3 miles per hour slower than it was last season, but he has been willing to pitch through his problems.
He started Monday in the Twins' 5-4 loss to Cleveland but actually felt he made progress, as his pitches were sharper.
He had talked about getting a cortisone shot after his start Saturday, but that might not happen now. Pavano sent copies of his magnetic resonance imaging exam to Dr. David Altchek, the New York specialist who has treated him in the past. Altchek pointed to the increasing strength in the shoulder as a reason why a shot might not be needed.
So Pavano and the Twins head into Saturday's game confident he is on the right path.
"Time will tell," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We're putting him back out there [Saturday], but he's bouncing around here pretty good."Span back in lineup
Twins center fielder Denard Span returned to the lineup after missing three games because of a tight right hamstring. He tested the hamstring during early work at Miller Park. He had four hits, three runs and three RBI in Friday's 11-3 victory.
Meanwhile, catcher/outfielder Ryan Doumit worked out before Friday's game and was available to pinch hit, although he wasn't used. He nearly landed on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right calf suffered Wednesday against the Tigers, but he felt better than expected Thursday morning and remains on the active roster.
"As long as he doesn't go flying out of the [batter's box] he's fine,'' Gardenhire said, "but his leg feels good."Big start for Marquis?
Jason Marquis, who is scheduled to start Sunday, needs a big turnaround after starting 2-3 with a 6.68 ERA. The Twins want him to take less time between pitches, and he is willing to make adjustments. Pitching faster could help him find a good rhythm and keep the defense behind him on its toes, which teams want.
Can a veteran such as Marquis, who is used to pitching a certain way, really change his ways?
"Guys like that could also be stubborn when you have been pitching for 13 years,'' Gardenhire said. "When you have success, you can be that way. But, right now he's going through a tough time, and he's looking for some answers. We're also trying to let him know what we think and what we see and what we have been successful with."Mauer back behind plate
Drew Butera caught Scott Diamond's first two outings, but Joe Mauer told Gardenhire that he felt great physically and wanted to be behind the plate. Had Butera caught and without the designated hitter, either Mauer or Justin Morneau would have had to start the game on the bench. But Mauer was willing to catch, so Butera didn't start.
|Chicago Cubs||3||Top 9th Inning|
|Detroit||5||Bottom 9th Inning|
|NY Yankees - LP: V. Nuno||2||FINAL|
|Baltimore - WP: J. Johnson||3|
|Tampa Bay||4||Bottom 9th Inning|
|Cincinnati - WP: M. Leake||4||FINAL|
|NY Mets - LP: J. Niese||0|
|Minnesota||2||Bottom 6th Inning|
|Oakland||1||Top 7th Inning|
|Los Angeles||2||Bottom 5th Inning|
|Boston||0||Bottom 7th Inning|
|Kansas City||0||Top 7th Inning|
|Arizona||0||Bottom 6th Inning|
|Seattle||0||Top 1st Inning|
|St. Louis||0||Top 1st Inning|
|Washington - S. Strasburg||9:15 PM|
|San Francisco - M. Cain|
|Memphis||30||2nd Qtr 0:01|
|Los Angeles||9:00 PM|