Twins HOF honoree Pascual reminisces

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Camilo Pascual in 1961.

Photo: Jim Kerlin, Associated Press

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On Sept. 30, 1962, Camilo Pascual needed to win his final start of the season to become a 20-game winner for the first time in his career.

He held Baltimore to three hits, but the Twins only had two. Fortunately, one was an RBI single by Harmon Killebrew, and the Twins beat the Orioles 1-0. Pascual finished 20-11 that year, led the league in complete games and strikeouts and was on his way to a career that would take him to the Twins' Hall of Fame.

Pascual, 78 and tremendously fit, smiled as he told the story.

"Lenny Green got on base, and Harmon Killebrew drove in the first run, the only run of the game," he said. "So that was a great memory."

Pascual will be honored before Saturday's game against the Athletics, as the 24th member of the Twins Hall of Fame.

Pascual, born in Havana, spent 13 of his 18 seasons with the Twins. He was 174-170 in his career and 145-141 with the Twins. He was their first-ever All-Star and their first-ever 20-game winner. His eight shutouts in 1961 are the second-most in club history. He's third on Twins lists in career shutouts (18) and complete games (72).

He was known for his curveball, and he used it as a weapon even if he had no intention of throwing it.

"A higher percentage of my pitches were fastballs," he said. "Everybody was looking for my breaking ball. When I had two strikes on a hitter, they'd think, 'Whoa, he's going to come with a breaking pitch.' It never happened."

Pascual remains involved in the game, scouting Latin America for the Dodgers.

Pavano is throwing

After being on the disabled list since early June, there are signs of a Carl Pavano comeback.

Pavano is going through throwing drills as he tries to build his arm up to pitch off a mound by the end of next week. He's relieved to finally start building up to something.

Before he went on the disabled list, his velocity had been down and he was unsuccessful at trying to pitch through shoulder soreness and weakness. It's been frustrating for him. The Twins have needed 11 different starters this season, and he's the only Twin to have pitched 200 innings in a season since 2009.

"I had the conversation with somebody today, this game isn't easy, but it is a lot harder on the DL," Pavano said. "Because you start playing mind games. You see the team struggling. You see the team going through a lot of starters, calling up guys that maybe weren't quite ready to start, but we have no one because I'm not available. You feel like you put your team in that position, and I did, in essence."

Etc.

• Reliever Matt Capps rejoined the club Friday after recovering from shoulder soreness. The team said he will not pitch in closing situations at first. "The competitive side of me wants to jump right in, but they don't pay me to make those decisions," he said.

• The Twins signed five players, including sixth-round pick Andre Martinez, a lefthander, on the final day teams could sign players selected in the June 4-6 draft. Of the players selected in the top 10 rounds, they were unable to sign ninth-round pick L.J. Mazzilli, an infielder from the University of Connecticut. The Twins ended up signing 27 of 43 picks. According to Baseball America, the Twins had a $260,000 deal set with Martinez, but shoulder concerns led to the bonus dropping to $80,000.

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