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Carl Pavano on his health and looking forward to 2012

The Twins begin a four-game series Monday at Yankee Stadium, also known as their house of horrors.

Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire has established a sterling reputation for doing more with less and can point to an outstanding managerial resume, but that ugly smudge on it can't help but be noticed.

To put it mildly, the Twins have struggled under Gardenhire when they've played the Yankees in New York.

The Twins are just 2-9 at new Yankee Stadium and 7-33 in the Bronx under Gardenhire.

They also were swept by the Yankees in both the 2009 and 2010 American League Division Series.

If his and his team's record at Yankee Stadium eats at him, Gardenhire isn't saying.

The Twins manager would have you believe he and his team are preparing for just another day's work. Or four days, in this case.

"We just play the schedule," Gardenhire said Sunday. "We'll go to New York for four tough games, and then off to Tampa for three more tough ballgames.

"So it's a tough road trip. We just have to figure out a way. We need to keep swinging, make some plays and hopefully it'll start going our way."

Playing the Yankees in New York is going to have to happen sometime, so it might as well be now, Twins catcher Joe Mauer said.

"You're going to have to face them sometime," Mauer said. "It's a tough part of our schedule. We might as well see them early."

The Twins will face right-hander Freddy Garcia, who'll make his first start at home this season.

Unable to find any consistency Tuesday against the Orioles, the right-hander threw five wild pitches, making him the first pitcher to do so since Ken Howell in 1989.

However, he was able to limit the damage to three earned runs in 4 2/3 innings for a no-decision. Come Monday against the Twins, Garcia must be sharper.

"I couldn't throw the split, and that's my No. 1 pitch," Garcia said Tuesday. "I couldn't get a grip. I tried a different grip, but that's a pitch you want to hit your spots when you need to."

Twins: Pavano gets start
The series marks the return to New York of right-hander Carl Pavano, who will start Monday's game opposite Yankees righty Freddy Garcia.

Pavano had four forgettable years with the Yankees from 2005-08, as he made just 26 combined starts over that stretch because of injuries after signing a deal worth nearly $40 million.

Pavano made his last start on Wednesday, when he allowed five runs over 6 2/3 innings against the Angels.

Yankees: Pettitte has solid outing
Andy Pettitte threw four shutout inning Sunday in his second Minor League start. Pitching for Class A Advanced Tampa, he gave up two hits and no walks while striking out three.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi was impressed with Pettitte's results, in which the left-hander threw 31 of 47 pitches for strikes. Girardi suggested that Pettitte would increase his workload in his next start by about 15 pitches.

• Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Monday in Tampa, Fla., as he returns from right shoulder inflammation. Girardi said that "everything so far has gone well" with Pineda, who isn't expected to be at the big league level before May.

Worth noting
• After throwing 78 pitches of long relief on Saturday for the Yankees, right-hander David Phelps will be unavailable until at least Thursday against the Twins. Phelps will likely throw a light side session in between to determine how he is recovering.

• The Twins received good news Sunday, as the MRI taken on right-hander Nick Blackburn's right shoulder came back normal, general manager Terry Ryan said. Blackburn left his start against the Rangers on Saturday after 5 1/3 innings because of stiffness in his right shoulder. Comments