On the disabled list since June 4, Twins starter Carl Pavano played catch on Monday for the first time while trying to recover from a right shoulder strain. Although it was a good sign for Pavano, Gardenhire said the right-hander still isn't close to returning, as he needs to build up his strength before jumping back in the rotation. "He's just doing his rehab work," Gardenhire said. "He has not gone off the mound yet. He's just doing his tossing program. There's not much to it. It's a process. We're just letting him do his thing with the trainers. It's a progam they have set up with a list, but we're not close." Even when Nick Blackburn isn't at his best, the Twins have been able to find ways to make up for the right-handed starter on most occasions. In 11 starts this season, Blackburn has just one quality start. But Minnesota is 6-5 when he takes the hill, as he'll do on Wednesday against the White Sox. Individually, Blackburn is 4-4 despite a 7.45 ERA. In his last outing on Friday, Blackburn earned the win over the Reds, even after surrendering a pair of two-run homers in five innings. The Twins' bullpen saved Blackburn that night, with four relievers combining to allow just four hits after Blackburn left the game. White Sox: Dunn continues to slump
Adam Dunn's recent struggles at the plate didn't get any better on Tuesday against the Twins, as the White Sox slugger went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He's now 2-for-his-last-33 with 20 strikeouts in nine games. "Right now, just pulling too many pitches," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said of Dunn before Tuesday's game. "Early in the year he was hitting a lot of balls to center field. You can get into that thing where you try to hit home runs every time you go up instead of just play and hit." Dunn still ranks among the American League leaders in home runs (23), but his average has dipped down to .208. Last season Dunn finished with a career-low .159 batting average and 11 home runs, but that doesn't concern Ventura. "I don't think it's anything like last year," Ventura said. "It's just one of those you just have to work through. I'm not worried about him falling back into what he did last year. It's just a little funk like everybody else goes through during the course of the year." Chicago's newest player, Kevin Youkilis, is on a two-game hitting streak to start his White Sox career after going 1-for-4 on Monday and Tuesday. Coming to Chicago from Boston, where he had been since 2004, Youkilis said he's slowly adjusting to playing in a different uniform. "I'm kind of trying each day to push it away because this is my new team," he said. "My old team -- I can still keep in contact with those guys and stay friends with them. But it's not my team anymore. It's good to be in first place, rather than at the bottom." Worth noting
The Twins played in their American League-leading 28th game decided by one run on Tuesday. The 3-2 loss moved them to 16-12 in such games. The White Sox own the third-best road record in the American League at 20-14 (.588) after Tuesday's 3-2 win at Target Field.