Guthrie, Royals commence series against Twins

Jeremy Guthrie tries to bounce back from a horrific showing his last time out when the Kansas City Royals open a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.

Guthrie could not get out of the third inning on Friday against Chicago, as he lost his second straight start and was hammered for six runs in just 2 1/3 frames to fall to 7-5 on the year to go along with a 4.20 ERA.

"It was one of those nights when he didn't have much going for him," said Kansas City manager Ned Yost.

After going a franchise record 18 straight starts without a loss, Guthrie has now lost five of his last seven decisions. However, he could get himself untracked on Thursday. Guthrie has beaten the Twins twice already this season and is 6-2 lifetime against them with a 3.36 ERA in nine starts.

Kansas City managed a split of its two-game set with the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, as Alex Gordon's RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted the Royals to a 4-3 win. Gordon went 3-for-5 with a solo homer for Kansas City, which won for only the second time in seven games.

Kansas City starter Luis Mendoza allowed two runs on five hits while striking out six over 6 2/3 innings. Aaron Crow (4-3) tossed a scoreless 10th to pick up the win.

Minnesota, meanwhile, was swept in a two-game series by the Miami Marlins and dropped a 5-3 decision in Wednesday's finale. Joe Mauer went 3-for-5 with a run batted in, while Josh Willingham and Oswaldo Arcia each had an RBI as well for the Twins, who have lost four of five.

Scott Diamond (5-7) yielded four runs on eight hits while fanning four in five-plus innings for Minnesota.

Hoping to get the Twins back on track Thursday will be righty Samuel Deduno, who is 3-2 with a 3.72 ERA. Deduno lost to the Cleveland Indians on Friday, as he allowed four runs and six hits in six innings.

Deduno tossed six scoreless innings to beat the Royals back on June 4 and is 2-0 in two starts against them, yielding just a run in 12 1/3 frames of those outings.

Kansas City has beaten the Twins in five of the six matchups this season.