With cameras flashing and fans chanting "M-V-P," Twins catcher Joe Mauer lined a single to left field to break a scoreless tie and put Minnesota up, 1-0, in the sixth inning.
Pavano fanned nine Yankees through seven innings, setting a Twins record for most strikeouts in a postseason game. Four pitchers shared the previous mark of eight.
Pavano did everything he had to for the Twins in what was a must-win game. The veteran right-hander pitched deep into the game and limited the Yankees to just the two homers, missing bats in the process.
The Twins didn't generate much offense against Andy Pettitte and the Yankees, but Mauer's hit in the sixth drove in Minnesota's only run of the game.
Span was the only Twins player to reach base more than once, as he singled in the sixth and eighth, then scored Minnesota's only run.
Sense of October
Lines of the Game
Pavano ended the sixth inning by striking out Johnny Damon looking, preserving a scoreless tie and bringing 54,735 fans to their feet at the Metrodome.
4 AB, 2 H, 1 R, 1 SB
Span singled with two outs in the sixth, stole second and later scored on Mauer's hit.
7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 9 K
Pavano put together perhaps his best outing since joining the Twins, but he couldn't avoid the loss.
The Twins' season ended with the disappointing three-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees. Minnesota will move into a new home next season, opening Target Field.
Tyler Mason is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.