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Pavano gets nod to start opening day for Twins

Carl Pavano of the Twins throws against the Toronto Blue Jays Oct. 1, 2010 in Minneapolis. (Associated Press)

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins just completed their first full workout of spring training, and manager Ron Gardenhire has already decided who will be his starting pitcher on opening day.

Gardenhire told reporters on Wednesday that veteran Carl Pavano will get the ball on April 1 in Toronto. Pavano went 17-11 with a 3.75 ERA for the Twins last season. He signed a two-year, $16.5 million deal in January, and Gardenhire trusts his poise and leadership.

Pavano is getting the nod over lefty Francisco Liriano, who started Game 1 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees last year.

Liriano has been bothered by some soreness in his shoulder. He will throw a bullpen session on Thursday and could pitch to hitters by the end of the week.