Brett Myers couldn't help the Chicago White Sox earn a playoff berth last season, but he could be a factor in the Cleveland Indians' attempt at sweeping his former team.
After struggling in his first two appearances, Myers looks to get back on track and help the Indians keep the White Sox winless on the road with a sixth consecutive defeat Sunday.
Myers (0-1, 12.19 ERA) went 3-4 with a 3.12 ERA in 35 relief appearances for Chicago (4-7) after being acquired from Houston in July, but is back in the starting rotation with Cleveland (5-5) - though his last outing came in relief.
After he allowed seven runs on four homers in five innings of a 10-8 loss to Toronto on April 4, the right-hander was scheduled to start Tuesday against the New York Yankees, but manager Terry Francona went with Carlos Carrasco in his first appearance since elbow surgery.
Carrasco was ejected in the fourth inning for beaning Kevin Youkilis, then Myers yielded seven runs and 11 hits, including three homers, in 5 1-3 innings of the 14-1 loss.
"(Myers) completely saved our bullpen," Francona told the Indians' official website. "He pitched fairly effectively for a couple innings and then they were in swing mode and he left some fastballs out over the plate that got whacked. So I think you can harp on that as a staff, or you can look to what he did well and try to capitalize on that. That's what we choose to do.
"He's not the power pitcher that maybe he was 10 years ago, so the wiggle room for when he doesn't locate his fastball isn't what it was. So, he has to pitch accordingly."
Myers, who last started against Chicago in 2004, must find a way to keep the ball in the park against a White Sox club that's scored 22 of its 39 runs off homers.
Chicago, however, has been outscored 22-10 in its last four games and remains the majors' only team without a road victory after Saturday's 9-4 loss. The White Sox have not started 0-6 on the road since 1968.
"Nobody likes losing a game, they're tough games," manager Robin Ventura told the White Sox's official website. "(But) they've been through long seasons before... (and) you can't start heading down that road of looking at the negatives."
Mark Reynolds hit a grand slam and had five RBIs to put the Indians in position to record their first series sweep of the White Sox since April 16-18, 2010.
Nick Swisher, who played for Chicago in 2008, hit a two-run homer one night after he drove home the winner in the ninth of Friday's 1-0 win. Dating to 2008, Swisher is batting .406 with 19 RBIs during a 20-game hitting streak at Progressive Field.
He's 9 for 25 in his last eight games versus Chicago, but is 1 for 9 with six strikeouts against scheduled starter Jake Peavy (1-1, 5.56).
After yielding one earned run in six innings of a 5-2 win over Kansas City on April 3, Peavy allowed six and three homers in 5 1-3 innings of an 8-7 loss at Washington on Tuesday. The right-hander, however, is 3-0 with a 3.26 ERA in his last four starts against the Indians.
Alex Rios went 0 for 4 on Saturday to end his 10-game hitting streak.
Teammate Adam Dunn is 1 for 17 in his last four contests and 3 for 26 with two homers and a double versus Myers.
Slugger Jason Giambi is expected to make his Indians debut Sunday after beginning the season on the disabled list with a strained back.