Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher T.J. McFarland sits in the dugout after being relieved in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Baltimore, Thursday, May 9, 2013. Kansas City won 6-2. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Thursday, May 09, 2013 11:37 pm
Guthrie, 3 HRs carry Royals past Orioles 6-2
By DAVID GINSBURGAP Sports Writer
Neither Guthrie nor the Orioles were in a sentimental, nostalgic mood after the right-hander threw six sharp innings to lead the Kansas City Royals to a 6-2 victory Thursday night.
Guthrie pitched five seasons in Baltimore before being traded to Colorado in February 2012. In his first outing against his former team, the right-hander allowed one earned run and seven hits to help the Royals avert a three-game sweep.
That, and not revenge against his old teammates, was Guthrie's motivation.
"I was just trying to win the game," Guthrie said. "We had a nice April and we're trying to stay consistent here and compete against good teams."
Asked how it felt to beat the Orioles, he replied, "I think someone else put it this way: We've turned the page."
That is precisely how Baltimore manager Buck Showalter viewed Guthrie's return.
"I didn't pay much attention to that part of it," Showalter said. "We've kind of turned the page."
Facing Guthrie brought back memories for Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, who used to see him pitch from a vastly different angle.
"He's got great stuff and can mix in four pitches," Wieters said. "It was a little different seeing him from the box as opposed to behind the plate, but still the same guy as when he was here."
After going 3-9 with Colorado, Guthrie (5-0) has been a star for the Royals since his arrival last July. He's 10-0 since Aug. 8 and has gone a franchise-record 18 straight starts without a loss. This outing was more of the same.
"I executed a few pitches, made a couple mistakes," he said. "Our offense did what we've been doing all year when I've been out there, score big runs, tack on a couple of extra ones."
Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer both homered against Freddy Garcia (0-1) with a runner on in the fourth inning to put Kansas City up 4-0. It was Gordon's third home run in three games and Hosmer's first in 145 at-bats dating to last year.
Mike Moustakas went deep in the seventh to make it 5-2. The Royals came in with an AL-low 19 home runs, so the three long balls served as a rare power surge.
"We broke out," manager Ned Yost said.
Chris Davis homered for the Orioles, whose season-high run of four straight wins ended. It was the fourth time this year that Baltimore missed a sweep by losing the final game of a series.
Making his second start with the Orioles, Garcia gave up four runs, five hits and a walk in six innings.
"I felt pretty good," the right-hander said. "One bad inning, two bad pitches. I was behind in the count to both hitters and I gave up two home runs, five runs. I was trying to do my best and tried to keep the guys in the game. That's all I can do."
Baltimore got an unearned run in the second inning, courtesy of shortstop Alcides Escobar's third error in two games. After Escobar's poor throw enabled Adam Jones to reach first, Matt Wieters singled and J.J. Hardy drove in a run with a bloop single to center.
It was the first time in three starts that Guthrie gave up a run. He was coming off his first career shutout, a four-hitter against the White Sox
Garcia retired the first 10 batters he faced, a streak that ended when Lorenzo Cain got an infield single with one out in the fourth. Gordon followed with a shot over the right-field scoreboard, and after Billy Butler singled, Hosmer hit an opposite-field drive into the left-field seats - his first homer since Sept. 11.
"It was definitely a sigh of relief," Hosmer said.
Davis got the Orioles to 4-2 in the bottom half with his 10th home run.
Moustakas greeted rookie reliever T.J. McFarland with a leadoff homer in the seventh. Moustakas also homered on Wednesday night.
NOTES: The start of the game was delayed for 31 minutes while the grounds crew waited for a shower that never arrived. ... The Orioles placed RHP Miguel Gonzalez (thumb) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled RHP Alex Burnett from Triple-A Norfolk. Burnett made his Baltimore debut in the eighth inning ... The Royals traded 3B Brandon Wood to Baltimore for cash. Wood, who was playing for Triple-A Omaha, will report to Norfolk. ... Baltimore leadoff hitter Nate McLouth has reached safely in 21 of his last 26 starts. ... Baltimore sends Jason Hammel (5-1) to the mound Friday night for the opener of a three-game series in Minnesota. The Royals head home for three games against the Yankees. ... Steve Johnson will come off the disabled list and start for Baltimore on Saturday, Showalter said.