CHICAGO -- Carl Pavano is closing in on the form that earned him a big contract from the Yankees -- and eluded him for four years in New York.
Pavano pitched a three-hitter for his fifth career shutout and Mark DeRosa hit a three-run homer, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 6-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.Pavano (6-4) handled the White Sox lineup with relative ease in his first shutout since May 17, 2005, for the Yankees. He faced four batters over the minimum.Pavano signed a four-year $39.95 million deal with the Yankees after going 18-8 with 3.00 ERA with the Marlins in 2004, but won just nine games with them. Now away from New York, Pavano is showing signs of the brilliance he displayed with Florida.
"I think every year is a new year. Obviously I had a good year in '04 but this is a new year for me," said Pavano. "I just want to build off of what I've been doing. I've learned from the success that I've had in the past but not dwell too much on it."After giving up a leadoff double in the first inning to Scott Podsednik, he retired the next three hitters and stranded Podsednik at third.Pavano is 6-1 with a 3.00 ERA after going 0-3 with a 9.50 ERA in April and he feels he is making progress after having "Tommy John" surgery in 2007."I feel good. It's a long time ago. I was younger and I went through some things the last four years that you have to stay on top of with the elbow surgery," Pavano said. "But everything is right where I'd like it to be, I'd like to keep it here."But the game of baseball is tricky so you don't take anything for granted. You keep working hard and come to the field every day trying to make yourself better," he said.Travis Hafner and Ryan Garko added back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning for the Indians.The White Sox have lost four in a row since a season-high four-game winning streak and have been shut out a major league-worst nine times. Chicago has not scored in 23 consecutive innings and has been blanked three of its last four games."Besides not hitting, we're not doing the little things either," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "People are going to be struggling at the plate, but we got a man on third base and no outs and we can't get him in. We swing at back-to-back changeups in the dirt, it's just a lot of bad things happening right now. A lot of bad ugly things, embarrassing things happening now."The White Sox have been shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since Aug. 9-10, 1997.Garko drew a leadoff walk in the third inning and Ben Francisco walked with two outs. Then DeRosa, in his first game back in Chicago after being traded by the Cubs in the offseason, followed with a long home run to left field to give the Indians a 3-0 lead. It was DeRosa's ninth of the season."I think we're just dead, I know it's not easy when you're not hitting and you're not scoring runs to be excited and happy, but as soon as DeRosa hit the home run it was a bad feeling in my stomach, I knew we were not going to win this game and that's not a good feeling to have when you're managing a ballclub," Guillen said.Hafner and Garko hit consecutive home runs in the sixth inning. Hafner homered in his first game back after a stint on the disabled list with right shoulder soreness and Garko chased White Sox starter John Danks with his sixth of the season.Danks (4-4) lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits. Danks is 1-5 with a 5.63 ERA in nine career starts against the Indians.The White Sox played without right fielder Jermaine Dye, who served the first game of a two-game suspension for arguing with home plate umpire Mike DiMuro after being called out on strikes on May 13.In his second career game, highly touted White Sox rookie Gordon Beckham was 0 for 3. He is still looking for his first career hit.
Indians closer Kerry Wood also made his first appearance in Chicago after he signed a free agent deal in the offseason. ... The Indians activated Hafner from the 15-day disabled list and optioned struggling starter Fausto Carmona to the Arizona Rookie League. Carmona, who won 19 games for the Indians in 2007, is 2-6 with a 7.42 ERA this year.