Jeremy Guthrie goes after his fourth consecutive winning decision on Tuesday when the Kansas City Royals continue a four-game series with the Texas Rangers at Kauffman Stadium.
Guthrie has been terrific for the Royals of late, except for an awful outing on Aug. 25 in Boston that saw him allow six earned runs in 2 2/3 innings and earn a no-decision. He bounced back nicely, though, on Thursday against the Detroit Tigers, holding them to a run over 7 1/3 innings to improve to 3-3 since being acquired from Colorado, while lowering his ERA to 3.86.
"I was going to go out there and throw strikes, and when you throw strikes, guys put some swings on 'em," Guthrie said. "The biggest thing was I was able to keep nine of them to singles and just allow one extra-base hit. That was kind of the big key in terms of allowing hits but no runs."
Guthrie's last loss came against the Rangers back on Aug. 3 and is 3-3 lifetime against them with a 3.90 ERA in 13 games (10 starts).
Texas, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Matt Harrison, who was roughed up by the Tampa Bay Rays. Harrison gave up seven runs and 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings to take the loss in that one, as he fell to 15-8 to go along with a 3.30 ERA.
"I was getting under my fastballs early in the game, and I wasn't really getting on top of pitches," Harrison said. "I was kind of in front of myself with my mechanics. I was able to make an adjustment, but it was 6-0, and I was just trying to keep it where it was."
Harrison beat Guthrie and the Royals in that Aug. 3 encounter and is 3-1 in six games (5 starts) against them with a 4.25 ERA.
Texas continued to roll in Monday's opener, as Geovany Soto hit a three-run home run, one of five longballs for the Rangers in an 8-4 win.
Michael Young clubbed a two-run shot, while Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz added solo blasts for Texas, which has won three of four.
Yu Darvish (14-9) worked seven innings for the win, allowing three runs on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts.
"He's been phenomenal," Soto said of the rookie hurler. "He's getting early outs and, if you go deep in the count, he's got the breaking pitches, the pitches that put them away. I think the main key is his fastball."
Tony Abreu finished with two hits and three RBI for the Royals, who have dropped three of four. Bruce Chen (10-11) was tagged for six hits and as many runs over six full frames.
Kansas City has split its six meetings with the Rangers this season.