Minnesota Twins starter Carl Pavano (48) throws a pitch during...

Minnesota Twins starter Carl Pavano (48) throws a pitch during the first inning. (June 26, 2010) Credit: AP

Carl Pavano can't escape the voice.

No matter the situation, the sound is constantly there - always coaching, always pushing and always prodding.

"I just kind of fire myself up and pick at myself a little bit," the former Yankee and current Minnesota Twin said. "You don't want to get too complacent. I'm better when my back's against the wall, so I kind of put myself in that [frame of mind].''

Pavano, however, never fell behind against the Mets yesterday. Instead, he recorded his second straight complete game - the first time he's accomplished that feat in his career - by tossing a three-hitter in a 6-0 victory at Citi Field.

"It's something I wanted to finish," said Pavano (9-6, 3.33 ERA). "Obviously, for the team and personally. Personally, I wanted to go out there and get this."

It was the ninth career complete game and third this season for the righthander, who outdueled Phillies ace Roy Halladay in his previous start by giving up four hits in a 4-1 win.

Pavano, who walked one against the Mets, has won his last four starts, posting a 1.64 ERA (six earned runs in 33 innings). He has allowed 18 hits and four walks in that span.

He breezed through the first two innings before Jeff Francoeur got the Mets' first hit - a bunt single down the third-base line with none out in the third. But Alex Cora popped into a double play (courtesy of some poor baserunning by Francoeur) and Pavano got Johan Santana to ground out to end the inning. He allowed only three baserunners the rest of the way.

"He's not a guy you worry about too often," said manager Ron Gardenhire, who playfully described Pavano, 34, as a "self-evaluator."

Gardenhire added, "You just give him the ball and he's going to go about his business."

The Yankees, however, rarely witnessed that Carl Pavano. Because of a variety of injuries, he pitched in only 26 games - going 9-8 with a 5.00 ERA - for the Yankees after signing a four-year, $39.95-million contract in December 2004, and some of his teammates questioned his commitment. And Pavano - who spent the majority of the 2001, '05, '06, '07 and '08 seasons on the disabled list - doubted himself, as well.

"Those four years, I had no one's trust. Not even my own," he said of his Yankees tenure. "I didn't know what to expect from myself. I mean, with all the injuries and all the disappointments of me letting myself down and my team down.

"I did it once I knew I could do it again. It was just a matter of getting healthy and getting going. It feels good. And I appreciate that [Gardenhire] said something like that, but I think a lot of it is the environment that I'm in.

"I really enjoy our team. We play good together, we have fun together and we have a good coaching staff. I think a lot of my performances have been a reflection on the coaching staff, too."

Though his fastball command hasn't been "great," he said, Pavano has pitched at least seven innings in seven straight games and 11 of his last 12.

"Yeah, I'm definitely on the way to trusting myself more," he said with a smile.

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