Veteran righty Jeremy Guthrie will try to close his 10th major league season with a win on Thursday night when the Kansas City Royals visit the Chicago White Sox to begin a four-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
The 34-year-old Oregon native was 14-10 on the season after a 6-3 defeat of the Cleveland Indians on Sept. 10, but has dropped decisions in two subsequent starts - losing at Detroit and home to Texas while allowing six runs on 20 hits in 14 innings.
Nonetheless, the 14 wins so far are a career high, topping the 11 he won in Baltimore in 2010, which followed two straight seasons of 10 victories in 2008 and 2009.
Guthrie was 8-12 last season while splitting time with Colorado and the Royals.
He dropped a 5-2 decision to the White Sox on Aug. 21 after giving up five runs in six innings, and is 6-7 against them in 20 career meetings with a 3.51 earned run average in 120 2/3 innings.
He's opposed by 25-year-old Brazilian rookie Andre Rienzo, who makes the 10th start of his initial big league season.
The right-hander got no-decisions in his initial four outings before beating the Royals, 5-2, with six innings of five-hit ball on Aug. 21 in Kansas City.
Win No. 2 came at Baltimore on Sept. 8, when he allowed a single run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings.
In three starts in Chicago, Rienzo is 0-1 with an 8.22 ERA in 15 1/3 innings.
On Wednesday in Seattle, the Royals will officially miss out on the postseason for the 28th consecutive year after running into a buzzsaw in Hisashi Iwakuma, who spun eight scoreless innings in the Seattle Mariners' 6-0 win in the rubber match of a three- game series.
Ervin Santana (9-10) was tagged for four runs on five hits and four walks over six-plus innings in defeat. The loss, coupled with an Indians win, eliminated Kansas City from the wild card race.
In Cleveland, Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer in the Indians' 2013 finale at Progressive Field, and the playoff-hopeful hosts finished their lopsided season series against the White Sox with a 7-2 victory.
The White Sox, who went 2-17 against Cleveland this year, went a franchise- worst 26-55 on the road and are on pace to finish in last place for the first time since 1989.
Dylan Axelrod (4-11) was the latest Chicago pitcher to underperform, as he surrendered five runs -- three earned -- on eight hits over 5 2/3 frames.
The White Sox won eight of the first 15 games with the Royals in 2013, including three straight in a series at Kauffman Stadium in August. Kansas City won the 2012 season series, 12-6.