When Jeremy Guthrie beat the Chicago White Sox in August, there's no way he could have realized it would be the beginning of an unbeaten streak that's only been seen one other time in Kansas City Royals history.
Now he can't stop hearing about it.
After Friday's originally scheduled series opener was wiped out due to freezing rain, Guthrie looks to extend his streak to 17 starts without a loss Saturday night as the Royals host the White Sox in this now-extended three-game set.
After allowing six hits and striking out five in 6 2-3 innings of a 9-0 win over Cleveland on Sunday, Guthrie improved to 8-0 with a 2.44 ERA over his last 16 starts. The unbeaten streak, which began with a 2-1 win over the White Sox on Aug. 8, ties the Royals' franchise record set by Paul Splittorff spanning the 1977 and 1978 seasons.
"I knew it's been a number of starts in a row, because people kept reminding me of it," said Guthrie, who is 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA in five starts in 2013. "Ultimately, it means a lot because hopefully the guys behind me when I go out are confident that we have a chance to win the game."
Guthrie, who hasn't won more than 11 games in his career and hasn't had a winning season since 2007, has seemed to rejuvenate his career in Kansas City after being acquired from Colorado in July.
"I have the kind of confidence I want to go into each start (thinking) that good stuff or not, I can keep us in it and give us a chance to win the game," Guthrie said.
The right-hander has been stellar against the White Sox since being traded to the Royals, going 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA as Kansas City has won each of his five starts. He's struck out 28 and walked three over 35 2-3 innings.
Kansas City (15-10) should be well rested as it looks for its third straight victory. Its series finale versus Tampa Bay on Thursday was postponed after 3 1/2 innings due to snow, and freezing rain wiped out Friday's game.
The teams will now finish their three-game set Monday, an originally scheduled day off for both clubs.
"I used to worry about these kinds of things, but not anymore. There's nothing you can do about it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We'll play when we can play."
Injuries have been an issue for the White Sox, though they took the final two of a three-game set at Texas with Thursday's 3-1 victory. Scheduled starter Jake Peavy was scratched earlier in the day because of back spasms, but Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to provide all the offense Chicago (12-15) would need.
Hector Santiago was scheduled to pitch in this opener but had to be moved up to replace Peavy, putting Dylan Axelrod in line to start. Gavin Floyd is on the disabled list with a flexor muscle strain in his right arm.
"I think every day you go through the list and figure out who's available, and the training room's full," manager Robin Ventura said. "It's just part of playing the game. You just deal with it."
Axelrod (0-1, 3.95) has given up a total of six runs while pitching six innings in each of his last three starts. He didn't get a decision in any of those outings, though, including after giving up three runs to Tampa Bay in an 8-3 loss Sunday.
The right-hander has never started against Kansas City, though he earned the victory after pitching two scoreless innings of relief in a 9-8 win July 13.
|Alejandro De Aza||13||.385||5||0||1||0||2||.385||.847||.462|
|Chicago White Sox|
|May 02, 2013||Dewayne Wise||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|May 02, 2013||Jake Peavy||Day-to-Day||Back spasms|
|April 28, 2013||Gavin Floyd||15-Day DL||Right elbow flexor strain|
|April 22, 2013||Hector Gimenez||Day-to-Day||Left shin|
|April 19, 2013||Dayan Viciedo||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|April 10, 2013||Gordon Beckham||15-Day DL||Fractured hamate bone, left wrist|
|Kansas City Royals|
|March 31, 2013||Danny Duffy||15-Day DL||Recovery from left elbow surgery|
|February 12, 2013||Felipe Paulino||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Jeremy Guthrie went from the scrapheap to the top of the heap.
Guthrie ran his unbeaten streak to a club record 17 consecutive starts with a four-hitter in the Kansas City Royals ' 2-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday night.
Guthrie is 9-0 in the 17 starts, which started against the White Sox on Aug. 8, 2012. Left-hander Paul Splittorff held the Royals' record with 16 straight undefeated starts in 1977-78.
This is in complete contrast to where Guthrie was at the start of last season. He went 3-9 with a 6.35 ERA with the Colorado Rockies , losing his final six decisions, before the Royals acquired him in a July 20 trade for left-hander Jonathan Sanchez .
"It was three long months there," Guthrie said. "I'd hate to bottle up seven years in the major leagues to three months, but certainly it wasn't going well. In baseball, you can never take anything for granted. Someone can be on top of the game one month and in three or four months you can be out of the game.
"I was very fortunate to come over here."
Guthrie gave credit to pitching coach Dave Eiland , catcher Salvador Perez and the Royals defense.
"That really helped me be able to get back on track and get that confidence back that I lacked with the struggles I had in Colorado and be able to feed off that," Guthrie said.
It was Guthrie's first shutout and fifth complete-game. Three of his previous complete games were eight-inning losses. His only previous complete-game victory came Aug. 8, 2008, for Baltimore at Seattle.
"He really kind of solidified our starting rotation when he got here last year," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "From that point on, I think it's a great story. He was really struggling in Colorado and we made the deal for him and he just completely turned his career around. He's worked very hard. He's been very productive and very successful."
Paul Konerko singled in the second and doubled in the fourth for the only White Sox hits until the eighth inning.
Tyler Flowers and Alejandro De Aza singled in the eighth, but Jeff Keppinger 's grounder to shortstop Alcides Escobar ended the inning.
Guthrie (4-0) threw 11 or fewer pitches in every inning except the fourth and eighth, when he threw 21 apiece.
Guthrie is 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA in six starts with the Royals against the White Sox, allowing two earned runs and 30 hits in 44 2-3 innings.
"He's been tough on us," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "First, because he's good. He was throwing it in and throwing it out. His off-speed was keeping us off balance. He seems to pick it up when we're facing him. They've got good defense, too. There were a couple of little rollers and difficult kinds of plays, and they made them. He was Maddux-like, going for the two-hour mark. You have to pick your poison, you go after him early and then you pop it up. He's tough."
Dylan Axelrod (0-1) nearly matched Guthrie, but yielded a two-run triple to Lorenzo Cain in the first inning. Cain's triple to the right-field corner scored Billy Butler , who was hit by a pitch, and Eric Hosmer , who singled for the first of his three hits.
Axelrod was pulled after Salvador's Perez's single with two out in the eighth. He gave up eight hits, walked one, hit two batters and struck out none, throwing 70 strikes in 113 pitches.
"It's one of those games where Axe was good, but Guthrie was better," Ventura said. "That one ball to Rios (Cain's two-run triple), a few feet closer and we're still out there."
Hosmer tripled to start the Royals' third inning, but was stranded.
Chris Getz and Escobar singled in the second, but Billy Butler flied out to right to end the Royals' threat.
Axelrod recorded his first 12 outs with fly balls before Butler grounded out to begin the fifth inning.
NOTES: The Royals had 10 non-playing days in their first 33 dates, logging four rainouts, a postponement at Boston because of the marathon bombings and five scheduled days off. "You just deal with the off days," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Do you want `em? No, not really, not like we've had them. It is what it is, you can't change it, you just deal with it." . White Sox LF Dayan Viciedo , who is on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, took some swings Saturday and should be ready to start a minor league rehab soon.