Carl Pavano often is overshadowed in Florida's rotation. But people are starting to take notice, especially following performances such as the one he had in a 4-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox last night in Miami.
Pavano pitched a three-hitter, won his third consecutive start and picked up his second career shutout -- his first since June 13, 1999. He struck out eight and issued one intentional walk.
"Right now, he's at the top of the list," Marlins Manager Jack McKeon said of Pavano. "He's the unsung hero."
Florida's rotation includes World Series MVP Josh Beckett and reigning NL rookie of the year Dontrelle Willis. Not only does Pavano not have those accolades, he also does not have a no-hitter -- but teammate A.J. Burnett does. And he doesn't throw nearly as hard as Brad Penny.
But he's more consistent than any of them. In his last 10 starts, Pavano has gone at least seven innings and yielded three or fewer runs eight times.
Pavano also ended Carlos Lee's hitting streak at 28 games. Lee's streak was a team record and the longest in the majors this season.
"Every streak is going to end," Chicago Manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It was a joy to watch. He helped us win a lot of games during that time."
* REDS 7, RANGERS 4: A capacity crowd in Cincinnati hoping for home-run history instead saw Ken Griffey Jr. settle for a single. But the crowd reveled in another late Cincinnati comeback.
Ryan Freel had a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth inning, and Barry Larkin followed with a two-run single as Texas's bullpen suffered a second straight meltdown.
The crowd of 42,000 stood and screamed encouragement every time Griffey came to bat, hoping to see his 500th career homer.
With his family watching nervously from the front row, Griffey didn't come close. He hit a routine fly, fouled out and walked against left-hander Nick Bierbrodt.
Griffey singled off reliever Ron Mahay in the seventh, when the Reds stranded runners at first and third with the score tied. He grounded into a double play that ended the decisive rally in the eighth.
* PIRATES 5, ANGELS 3: A three-run home run by Daryle Ward finished off Pittsburgh's five-run fifth inning, and the Pirates avoided matching their longest losing streak in 36 years.
"It feels good," Pirates Manager Lloyd McClendon said. "I might even get some sleep tonight."
* CUBS 4, ASTROS 1: In Houston, Greg Maddux earned his 295th career victory, and Chicago won its fifth straight.
Todd Hollandsworth's RBI triple sparked a two-run eighth for the Cubs. Maddux (6-5) befuddled the Astros, yielding one run and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.
The Astros have lost three in a row to Chicago and four of their last five overall. A crowd of 36,225 booed throughout the night.
* YANKEES 9, DIAMONDBACKS 4: Bernie Williams, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter homered, and visiting New York won for the 18th time in 21 games.
Williams hit his first leadoff home run in nine years. Rodriguez reached base safely for the 52nd consecutive game, 15 more than his previous career best.
* TWINS 5, EXPOS 4: Luis Rivas hit a disputed home run in the 11th inning for visiting Minnesota.
The drive over the wall in the left-field corner was called fair by third base umpire Brian O'Nora. However, television replays clearly showed the ball sailed to the left of the net that serves as a foul pole at Montreal's Olympic Stadium and should have been ruled foul.
Expos left fielder Brad Wilkerson immediately jumped up and down when he saw O'Nora signal a fair ball. Wilkerson ran in to join third baseman Tony Batista and Manager Frank Robinson, who came out of the dugout to argue.
Robinson was ejected after repeatedly berating the umpires' crew.
"In plain language, [O'Nora] said he saw it and he saw the ball hit the foul pole," Robinson said. "He saw it shaking."
* ROCKIES 7, RED SOX 6: Vinny Castilla drove in three runs, and Jason Jennings worked out of two bases-loaded jams for his fourth win in five starts.
Colorado closer Shawn Chacon gave up a pair of RBI singles in the ninth inning in Denver before retiring pinch hitter David McCarty with runners at second and third.
The Rockies knocked around Curt Schilling (8-4) to beat the Red Sox for the second straight night, winning for just the sixth time in 26 games. Colorado won consecutive home games for just the third time this year and earned its first home series victory since May 1-2 against Atlanta.
* CARDINALS 6, ATHLETICS 2: Jason Marquis pitched seven sharp innings and hit a two-run double in St. Louis.
The AL West-leading Athletics were 18-0 against the NL Central before losing the first two games of this series.
* ROYALS 10, BRAVES 4: Angel Berroa hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning in Atlanta. The Royals had 20 hits for the first time since Aug. 5, 2001, at Minnesota.
* INDIANS 9, METS 1: C.C. Sabathia yielded one run and six hits in eight impressive innings to lead Cleveland on the road.
Sabathia (4-3) shut down the Mets a night after they had 14 hits in a 7-2 win after firing hitting coach Denny Walling.
* BREWERS 4, MARINERS 1: Doug Davis pitched seven solid innings, and pinch hitter Bill Hall hit a two-run homer.
Davis (6-5) gave up Pat Borders' first homer of the year in the third inning, but not much more.
* GIANTS 10, BLUE JAYS 2: Pedro Feliz and A.J. Pierzynski each hit two-run homers, and Kirk Rueter pitched seven strong innings in San Francisco.
* DEVIL RAYS 9, PADRES 6: Tampa Bay isn't so bad anymore. The Devil Rays set a franchise record with their seventh straight win, the longest current winning streak in the majors.
* TIGERS-PHILLIES, PPD.: The game was postponed because of rain and will be made up as part of a doubleheader today.