Pavano won his third straight start and the Indians scored in the first inning for the first time this month as they defeated the Chicago White Sox 9-4 on Monday night to snap a four-game losing streak.
"It finally felt like a real baseball game," said Cleveland third baseman Mark DeRosa. "Any win right now is big."
Pavano (3-3) allowed four runs and 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings in his first appearance against the White Sox in nearly five years. The right-hander didn't issue a walk and struck out three.
"He controlled the game and it was good to see," Indians manager Eric Wedge said of Pavano, who threw 67 of 87 pitches for strikes.
Chicago lost for the seventh time in nine games as Gavin Floyd (2-3) gave up eight runs and 11 hits over five innings. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 9.73 ERA in four starts since April 19.
Floyd did not throw a first-pitch strike to the first 11 batters he faced. Pavano was 10-for-10 until Brent Lillibridge let an outside pitch go past for ball one.
"In the big leagues, if you don't throw a strike, I don't care how good you are, you're going to get killed," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He couldn't throw his curve for strikes because he couldn't throw his fastball for strikes. You have to command your fastball to make the other pitches work."
Floyd said he needs to follow Pavano's example of being aggressive.
"I need to get ahead and attack guys," the right-hander said. "I'm trying to hit corners and be perfect with everything instead of just going after people and make them put the ball in play."
The last time Pavano faced Chicago, he pitched a three-hit shutout on June 16, 2004, for the Florida Marlins en route to an 18-8 record. He signed a four-year contract worth nearly $40 million with the New York Yankees but spent most of his time on the disabled list and had only nine wins before getting a one-year, $1.5 million deal with Cleveland in January.
"The guys played great behind me and scored runs early, but personally I'm disappointed," Pavano said. "I needed to go deeper. This is a game that I should have kept the bullpen out of it.
"I got some pitches up later in the game and got hit, but each game I go out there, I've felt stronger," he said.
The Indians built a 6-0 lead through four innings despite wasting some scoring chances. They had runners at second and third with one out in a two-run first and left them stranded. They had two on and none out in the second and didn't score.
Choo had an RBI single and DeRosa an RBI double in Cleveland's two-run first.
Choo's bases-loaded single scored two to make it 4-0 in the fourth. Floyd then hit DeRosa in the left forearm with a pitch to reload the bases and Peralta followed with a two-run single to center.
"I was more aggressive," Choo said. "The last few games, I was looking for walks. Tonight, I tried to make it simple -- see the ball, hit the ball."
White Sox outfielder Scott Podsednik is expected to return to the club Tuesday following the birth of his daughter, Peytra, on Sunday. ... A.J. Pierzynski is hitting .441 (15-for-34) with eight RBIs over his last nine games. ... Peralta had three hits for the third time in his last five games and is 10-for-23 (.435) over that span. ... White Sox left-hander Clayton Richard is scheduled to make his first start of the season on Tuesday. Guillen moved Richard up one day to give left-hander Mark Buehrle an extra day of rest.