The Indians need Justin Masterson to be an ace.
For three of his four starts this season, he has served that role admirably. His last time out, not so much.
Cleveland placed Brett Myers on the disabled list on Sunday and added Corey Kluber to its starting rotation. When Kluber pitches on Wednesday against the White Sox, he'll be the eighth pitcher to start a game for the Tribe this season.
Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer are at Triple-A. Ubaldo Jimenez is sporting a 10.06 ERA and Scott Kazmir surrendered six runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings in his first outing.
Masterson -- aside from a blip on the radar last Wednesday against Boston -- and right-hander Zach McAllister have been the only reliable cogs in Cleveland's rotation. In his first three starts, Masterson mounted a 3-0 record and 0.41 ERA, while compiling a 19-inning scoreless streak. Against the Red Sox on Wednesday, however, he yielded four runs on 11 hits in five innings in his first loss.
"They made him work really hard," manager Terry Francona said. "Their approach to him was very good. They all stayed in the middle of the field or went the opposite way. ... There's a lot of trust in him. That's what I told him when I took him out. He didn't give in and it was a hard five innings but when he left, we had a chance to win the game."
Masterson's early success includes a five-hit shutout of the White Sox, whom he will face on Monday at U.S. Cellular Field. He'll be opposed by right-hander Dylan Axelrod, who is still seeking his first win of the 2013 campaign.
Axelrod rebounded from a poor showing on April 11 to provide Chicago with a quality start Tuesdy, when he held Toronto to two runs in six innings.
"I just wanted to have a quality start, have us in it and then I figured we were going to keep it there," Axelrod said.
Indians: Myers battling elbow inflammation
• Myers exited his start Friday after five innings. He said after the outing that he had tendinitis in his right forearm. An evaluation Sunday morning in Cleveland revealed inflammation in his pitching elbow.
"I give him credit," Francona said. "He'll go out there and give you everything he has. His velocity started to really drop off [Friday night]. He said to me he has this every spring and usually fights his way through it."
• The Indians finished off the first leg of their three-city, 10-game road trip on Sunday in Houston. Next up: Chicago and Kansas City.
"We just go where they tell us to go," Francona said. "As long as I've got enough underwear, I'm good to go."
White Sox: Danks eager to embark on rehab assignment
John Danks, battling his way back from August shoulder surgery, threw six innings in an extended spring start Saturday in Arizona.
"I don't want to be back until I know I can help the team," Danks said. "It'd be selfish of me to go out there just because I'm physically able to do it. I don't feel like I'm real far off, but it's not my decision to make."
Danks will meet Monday with general manager Rick Hahn, head athletic trainer Herm Schneider and others to discuss the next step in his road to recovery.
• Mark Reynolds leads the Indians with seven homers and 18 RBIs. No Indians player had more than three homers or 14 RBIs in the entire month of April last season.
• The White Sox, who have dropped nine of 12, have scored five runs in their last three games -- all losses.
Zack Meisel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.