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MIN@SEA: Pavano tosses six innings of two-run ball

Right-handers Carl Pavano and Jeanmar Gomez will be the opposing pitchers when the Twins and Indians meet in the first game of a two-game series Monday at Target Field and both players' managers have reason to feel optimistic, despite rough outings in their last starts.

The 36-year-old Pavano (2-3, 5.02 ERA) gave up 10 hits and four earned runs in five innings against the Angels in his last start and afterward underwent an MRI on his right shoulder because his velocity has been down.

The MRI revealed only inflammation in the front of his shoulder, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Sunday.

Pavano's fastball has been averaging 86.6 mph after averaging 89 mph last season, according to FanGraphs.com.

"Everything checked out fantastic," Gardenhire said. "He has a little inflammation, but that's it. The MRI was very positive, so now mechanically it's maybe about getting a little more turn and rotation."

The Twins have stretched out relievers Brian Duensing and Anthony Swarzak in case they're needed to join the rotation, but Gardenhire said he is confident that Pavano is just fine now that the MRI showed no structural damage.

"After his last start, we questioned, 'Are you OK?' because his velocity was 85-86," Gardenhire said. "He says he feels fine, he just doesn't feel like he has the range of motion. Well, we found out why. It was about being able to reach back with a little tendinitis in the back of his shoulder."

Gomez, who started the season in the Indians' bullpen, was roughed up for nine hits and eight earned runs in 6 2/3 innings in his last start Wednesday against the White Sox.

It was the first time in his five starts that he has been ineffective, but there were extenuating circumstances regarding his bad numbers against the White Sox, Indians manager Manny Acta said.

"He couldn't throw a strike the first four innings and we got behind 8-0," Acta said. "But he deserves credit for getting it together after that and going deep into the game after that.

"It would have been a disaster for the bullpen if he hadn't got himself together."

Indians: Brantley blossoms in No. 7 spot
• Michael Brantley went 3-for-4 on Sunday, raising his average since May 1, when he moved from the leadoff spot to No. 7 in the batting order, from .196 to .320.

• Johnny Damon, who replaced Brantley as the leadoff hitter, was 0-for-3 on Sunday, dropping his average to .159.

Twins: Mauer at one homer, 15 RBIs
• Joe Mauer played first base on Sunday, going 1-for-2 with three walks in a 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays. Mauer is hitting .286 with one home run and 15 RBIs.

Worth noting
• Indians reliever Daniel Wheeler endured a rough one-inning outing on Sunday, giving up six earned runs and seeing his ERA go from 4.76 to 8.76

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