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Carl Pavano Got the Last Laugh at Yankee Stadium Last Night

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16:  Carl Pavano #48 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the New York Yankees during their game on April 16, 2012 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Carl Pavano last pitched for the Yankees back in 2008, but he's still not an especially popular fellow in the Bronx. (Who can forget the closed captioning of the boos directed his way at Opening Day back in 2009?) Since leaving the Yankees, Pavano's actually managed to stay healthy: He made 98 starts between 2009 and 2011 for Cleveland and Minnesota. Still, in New York, he remains the guy who made just 26 starts over the four years of his Yankees contract. So, as far as Yankees fans are concerned, Pavano's first start at Yankee Stadium since 2009 couldn't have begun in much better fashion than it did last night. On Pavano's second pitch of the game, Derek Jeter homered. Two pitches later, Curtis Granderson homered to the score at 2. Alex Rodriguez then reached on an infield single on Pavano's next pitch, advanced to second on a throwing error, and would be driven in later in the inning by a Mark Texeira single. Not bad — except then Pavano settled down. He lasted seven innings but didn't allow a run beyond the three in the first inning. And he pitched better than Yankees starter Freddy Garcia, who gave up five earned runs and didn't get out of the sixth inning. The Twins would go on to win 7-3; the victory was Pavano's first against his former team.

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Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images