While Derek Lowe was enduring one of the worst seasons of his career in 2011, the Chicago White Sox's Jake Peavy was dealing with another injury-plagued one.
Now healthy, Peavy will try to add to his promising campaign when he faces a rejuvenated Lowe and the Cleveland Indians on Saturday afternoon.
Peavy, the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner, hasn't won more than seven games or made more than 18 starts since being acquired by the White Sox from San Diego on July 31, 2009. Surgery on his right shoulder kept him out from July 2010 to May 2011 and he also had a stint on the DL in June for a strained muscle in his right groin.
Peavy (5-1, 2.39 ERA) has tried to make up for that lost time this season and had one of his best outings Sunday against the Chicago Cubs.
Despite the wind blowing out at Wrigley Field, he allowed three hits over 6 1-3 innings and struck out seven in a 6-0 win. It was the sixth time in nine starts he's given up two runs or fewer.
Lowe, meanwhile, was relatively healthy for Atlanta in 2011 but registered a career-high 17 losses and his worst ERA (5.05) since a 5.42 mark for Boston in 2004. The veteran right-hander has rediscovered his groove during his return to the AL and allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last six outings.
Lowe (6-2, 2.15), though, suffered a hard-luck 5-3 defeat to Miami on Sunday, giving up two runs over six innings as his four-game win streak ended.
The Indians (26-19) could use Lowe's help to avoid having their 2 1/2-game lead over Chicago in the AL Central cut even further. The White Sox (24-22) trimmed that deficit with a 9-3 victory in Friday's series opener and ended a three-game win streak for their division rivals, who have also prevailed in eight of 11 contests.
"I think it's fun that way,'' Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said. "It was good (sweeping) Detroit here at home, but now we got to turn our focus to (Chicago). These guys are closer in the division than Detroit is right now ...This team is good and we know that.''
Dayan Viciedo was among four White Sox players with two RBIs on Friday as he hit his sixth homer in 11 games. A.J. Pierzynski had his third in five contests and Adam Dunn hit his third in six games for Chicago, winners in seven of eight and three in a row over Cleveland.
"We have a good feeling," Pierzynski said. "There's been some ups and downs, but at the end of the day, when we come in, we know that there's a positive vibe.
"We know we're in for a dogfight, but at the end of the day, we like where we're at. We like our chances. If we continue to pitch and get some hits like we have, we should be able to win.''
Peavy might not need too much help from his teammates judging by his recent outings against the Indians. He gave up one run over seven innings during an 8-1 victory at Progressive Field and tossed a three-hit shutout in his most recent matchup in Chicago on May 18, 2011.
Lowe will face the White Sox for the first time since June 24, 2010. He's 1-2 with a 3.67 in seven lifetime starts against them.