While some believed Derek Lowe's better years may be behind him following a disappointing 2011, it's safe to say he still has plenty left in the tank.
The right-hander, however, hasn't experienced much success against the Minnesota Twins over the course of his career.
Seeking a fourth consecutive win, Lowe looks to help the visiting Cleveland Indians continue their recent domination of the major league-worst Twins when the teams conclude a two-game set Tuesday afternoon.
A change of scenery seems to have done wonders for Lowe, who was acquired from Atlanta after going 9-17 with a 5.05 ERA with the Braves last season. The 38-year-old sinkerballer is off to one of his better starts, going 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA through seven turns in the rotation.
Lowe, who's gone 3-0 while yielding two runs or fewer in each of his last four outings, gave up two and nine hits over six innings of Thursday's 8-3 win at Boston.
"He knows how to pitch with a lead," manager Manny Acta said. "He had a lot of traffic throughout his outing, but he always seemed to make that pitch when he had to."
Lowe recorded 13 outs via ground balls Thursday and has induced a major league-leading 103 grounders on the season.
Lowe could have a hard time keeping things going against Minnesota. He is 0-4 with a 7.29 ERA over seven career starts against the Twins (10-25), though he only allowed two runs over 7 1-3 innings June 12, 2010, with the Braves in his last meeting against them.
Josh Willingham is just 5 for 27 (.185) but has three homers lifetime against Lowe. Joe Mauer is 6 for 10.
Cleveland (19-16), which concludes a six-game road swing Tuesday, snapped a season-worst three-game skid with Monday's 5-4 win at Target Field. After the Twins put together a three-run eighth inning to tie the score at 4, the Indians went ahead for good on Shin-Soo Choo's RBI single in the ninth.
"Especially coming off our first three-game losing streak, (when) we blew the lead it would have hurt more," Acta said. "Those are the type of things that tend to carry over. It was nice that we were able to come back, especially playing on the road. It was very important to do that so that things don't start snowballing."
The Indians have had the Twins' number of late, hitting .333 with runners in scoring position while taking nine of 10 in the series.
Minnesota could find it difficult to bounce back behind Jason Marquis (2-2, 6.26), who was roughed up again during Thursday's 6-2 loss to Toronto. The right-hander yielded a season-high six runs, seven hits and three walks over four innings - his shortest outing of the year.
"I'm just trying to find my arm slot more than anything," said Marquis, who threw just 47 of his 86 pitches for strikes. "I'm getting on the side of the ball and so it's more run than depth than I'd like. Obviously, the results have shown that."
In his only career appearance against the Indians, Marquis gave up seven runs in six innings June 26, 2006, while with St. Louis.
Marquis has a 7.16 ERA over three starts at home, where opponents are hitting .364 against him.