Gardenhire: Pavano is Opening Day starter

Gardenhire: Pavano is Opening Day starter

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed on Friday that veteran right-hander Carl Pavano is slated to be the club's Opening Day starter on April 6, when the Twins play the Orioles at Camden Yards.

Gardenhire also said that if the rotation goes as currently planned, right-hander Scott Baker will be the club's starter in the home opener against the Angels on April 9 at Target Field.

Gardenhire said that he didn't even make the decision to go with Pavano on Opening Day, as it was pitching coach Rick Anderson who called him to make the decision.

Pavano, who along with Gardenhire was at the team's annual media luncheon Friday, said he's honored to make his second straight Opening Day start with the club, but joked that he heard about the decision through the media instead of from Gardenhire, who first told fans about the decision during a stop on Twins Caravan earlier this week.

Pavano, 36, posted a 4.30 ERA with 102 strikeouts and 40 walks allowed in 222 innings last year.