Jeremy Guthrie was again the man of the hour for Kansas City on Saturday as the team finally got their series against the Chicago White Sox off the ground. The American League Central foes continue their three-game set Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.
Guthrie was untouchable as he allowed just four hits and a walk in his first career shutout, a 2-0 final that saw the hurler drop his ERA down to 2.40. Even more impressive is the fact that Guthrie has now made a team-record 17 straight starts without suffering a defeat. The run eclipsed the club mark of 16 in a row set by Paul Splittorff between the 1977-78 campaigns.
"It's just something I'd never been able to accomplish. Had a few opportunities, so it's really special to go out there in the ninth inning and hear that little roar from the crowd. It was really cool and backed me up," Guthrie said.
While Guthrie was weaving his magic on the mound, Lorenzo Cain was supplying the only offense the hosts would need as he tripled in the bottom of the first inning to score Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer with two out. The latter finished with three of the unit's eight hits as they won their third straight and the sixth in eight tries in order to remain within a half game of Detroit for the top spot in the division.
Of the four hits generated by the White Sox, a team which saw a brief two-game win streak come to an end, two were notched by Paul Konerko. A career .282 hitter, the slugger is currently batting just .238 for a Chicago squad that is in last place in the AL Central.
Without any sustained offensive support, Dylan Axelrod suffered the setback, his second in as many decisions this season. The starter allowed just two runs on eight hits and a walk, yet failed to strike out a single batter over 7 2/3 innings of work.
"That's my goal, to get a quality start," Axelrod said of his performance. "Every time out, give your team a chance to win. I'm trying to build off that."
After failing to figure into the decision in his most recent outing on Tuesday, Jose Quintana heads back to the mound for the White Sox this afternoon. The left-hander, now in just his second major-league campaign, is 2-0 this season with a 3.58 ERA in five appearances.
Against Texas earlier in the week, Quintana was touched for four runs on eight hits and a walk, while fanning two through five innings in what turned into a 10-6 setback for Chicago on the road.
When it comes to facing Kansas City, Quintana is 0-1 with a 4.26 ERA in three appearances.
Countering for the hosts today is Wade Davis, who is trying to snap a two-game slide. The Florida native has been smoked in the last two outings, giving up a combined 15 runs, although four of those in the loss to Detroit on April 24 were unearned.
More recently Davis was rocked by Cleveland at home on Monday, allowing eight runs on 12 hits and three walks, striking out three, in just 4 2/3 innings of work.
The right-hander, who spent the first four seasons of his career with Tampa Bay before joining KC this year, has a record of 3-1 with a minuscule 1.84 ERA all-time against Chicago.
The teams will continue this series on Monday after the Friday opener was postponed due to inclement weather.