Looking to string a pair of wins together to open their West Coast road trip, the Kansas City Royals have to be feeling good about their chances with the seemingly unbeatable Jeremy Guthrie on the mound.
Guthrie will try to extend his franchise-record streak of consecutive starts without a loss Tuesday night against a Los Angeles Angels team that has been in a rut offensively.
Kansas City (19-16) had dropped three in a row and six of seven before opening its nine-game trip with an 11-4 victory in Anaheim on Monday.
Billy Butler broke out of a 4-for-35 slump with the second five-hit game of his career and five RBIs as the Royals reached a double-digit run total for the first time since April 5."I knew I had been getting closer, but it's just one game," said Butler, who is 6 for 13 with two homers lifetime against Tuesday's scheduled starter Jason Vargas . "You've got to come out and do it consistently. Hopefully I'm on that upward streak now."
The Royals should have a decent chance to win back-to-back contests for the first time since a four-game run April 30-May 5, having won four straight Guthrie (5-0, 2.28 ERA) starts and six of his seven outings overall.
Guthrie also hopes to continue his historic stretch, going 10-0 with a 2.21 ERA during a franchise-record 18 straight starts without a loss since Aug. 8.
The right-hander gave up a run for the first time in three starts Thursday when he allowed one over six innings in a 6-2 victory at Baltimore."I executed a few pitches, made a couple mistakes," said Guthrie, who is 3-0 with a 0.42 ERA in his last three outings.
Guthrie has made few mistakes against the Angels with a 2-1 record and 2.37 ERA in his last four starts. He's posted those same numbers in four career outings in Anaheim, though he makes his first start there since 2010.
After being one-hit by Chicago's Chris Sale in a 1-0 loss Sunday, the Angels' offensive woes continued in Monday's loss. They managed just three runs and six hits against Luis Mendoza , who entered the contest with a 6.38 ERA.
Los Angeles (14-24), which has lost six of eight home games, has totaled seven runs while hitting .177 with six extra-base hits over its last three contests overall.
Albert Pujols went 1 for 4 in the opener and is hitting .171 since April 21. After batting .161 over his previous 14 games, Josh Hamilton went 2 for 3 Monday and is 7 for 23 with two homers lifetime against Guthrie.Hamilton, though, is uncertain for Tuesday after leaving in the seventh inning because he was "a little lightheaded," manager Mike Scioscia said
Shortstop Erick Aybar (hamstring), who is batting .393 in his last 37 games versus Kansas City, is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday.
Vargas (1-3, 4.26) had allowed two runs over 17 innings in back-to-back complete games, but gave up five and 10 hits over 5 2-3 innings before leaving without a decision in the Angels' 6-5 comeback win at Houston on Thursday.
The left-hander has fared well against the Royals, going 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his last four starts while with Seattle.
Alex Gordon is hitting .394 with three homers over his last eight games, but is 1 for 8 lifetime off Vargas.
|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|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|April 30, 2013||Peter Bourjos||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|April 27, 2013||Sean Burnett||15-Day DL||Left forearm irritation|
|April 20, 2013||Mark Lowe||15-Day DL||Neck stiffness|
|April 20, 2013||Mark Lowe||15-Day DL||Neck stiffness|
|April 13, 2013||Kevin Jepsen||15-Day DL||Right triceps tightness|
|April 12, 2013||Alberto Callaspo||15-Day DL||Right calf tightness|
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Albert Pujols , Josh Hamilton and the Los Angeles Angels did more than just end Jeremy Guthrie 's 18-game unbeaten streak. They smashed it to smithereens.
Pujols, Hamilton, Howie Kendrick and Mike Trout all homered off the right-hander in a 6-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
"As you saw tonight, up and down the lineup, we're capable of doing that," Hamilton said. "When you look at what he's been doing as of late, he's been throwing the ball well. So it's encouraging to know you've had good at-bats against a guy like that. It's just good to create a little bit of fuel to the fire. The guys were smiling and having fun."
Guthrie (5-1) yielded five runs and 11 hits over seven innings. He held the franchise record for consecutive starts without a loss while winning his previous 10 decisions. It was his first defeat since Aug. 3 last year, when Texas beat him 5-3 at Kansas City.
"The streak was because of 25 guys that played well behind me every time I was on the mound, and they really picked me up. That's how a streak like that happens," Guthrie said. "Tonight they tried to battle for me, and I couldn't get any momentum on our side. It was one of those nights where I didn't have a good feel and wasn't able to execute pitches."
Hamilton, who batted .212 with 11 RBIs in his first 38 games with the Angels after signing a five-year, $125 million contract in December, drove Guthrie's first pitch to him in the sixth inning far beyond the trees in center field with two outs to increase the lead to 4-2.
"I went back and looked at (some tape from) 2010 - the end of May and early June, because I struggled the first month and a half of that season," Hamilton said. "I looked at what kind of adjustment I made then and tried to simulate that in BP today and in the game. As the game went on, I saw more pitches and felt good."
The Angels' right fielder, who was the AL MVP in 2010, made his fourth start at designated hitter after being removed from Monday night's series-opening 11-4 loss in the seventh inning because of lightheadedness caused by sinus congestion.
"It was good in Houston and it felt OK in Chicago. Today it felt better," Hamilton said. "I felt like I was seeing the ball better and had a little better pitch selection throughout the game. I felt OK while I was hitting. But like last night, once I would run, I'd kind of feel a little off. So we'll give the medicine a couple of days and see if it kind of works its way out."
Trout ended the scoring in the seventh with his seventh homer, a towering drive over the double-decker bullpen in left field. It was the first time in Guthrie's 10-year career that he allowed four homers in a game.
Jason Vargas (2-3) gave up five hits in seven-plus innings and struck out seven. Both runs against the left-hander were knocked in by the suddenly hot Billy Butler , who had an RBI double in the fourth and a homer in the sixth.
"He mixes speeds well, locates, and he just knows how to pitch," Butler said. "Over the years he's gotten better and better. He knows what he has, knows his stuff and basically knows how to approach hitters. He's a lefty and he throws in the upper 80s (mph), so you have to make him come to you and bring the ball up. That's easier said than done."
Butler opened the scoring with an RBI double. But the Angels responded with two runs in the bottom half, as Pujols launched his sixth homer over both bullpens leading off the inning and Kendrick hit his sixth of the season with two outs.
Trout made it 3-1 in the fifth with a sacrifice fly after the Angels put runners at the corners on singles by J.B. Shuck and Erick Aybar , who returned to the lineup after missing four games because of tightness in his right hamstring.
"It just shows you how fragile a streak like that is and how impressive it is," Butler said. "Jeremy's going to pitch well all year, and he's pitched well to this point. We all have confidence in him, and we know when he goes out there we have a great chance to win every time."
NOTES: Los Angeles got two runners thrown out at third base by catcher Salvador Perez in the third. ... The Angels are 4-0 when Hamilton is the DH. He is 8 for 25 against Guthrie with three home runs. ... The last pitcher to give up four homers against the Angels in a game was Oakland's Dan Straily on Aug. 8, 2012, in his second big league start. ... Angels LHP C.J. Wilson will match up against LHP Chris Sale of the White Sox for the second time in six days on Friday night. Sale outpitched Wilson with a one-hitter Sunday at Chicago, beating the Angels 3-0.