Baltimore (14-20) at Kansas City (18-16)

Fair Currently: Kansas City, MO
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Thu May 14, 2009
  • TV: MASN, FSKC
Preview | Box Score | Recap

After generating minimal offense and failing to win a game on a disastrous road trip, the Kansas City Royals are likely excited about returning home.

The Royals look to get their offense back in gear and win their seventh consecutive home game for the first time in six years Thursday night when they open a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.

Kansas City (18-16) came to the West Coast last week atop the AL Central, but left losers of five in a row. The Royals fell at Oakland 7-2 on Wednesday to drop back-to-back games to the Athletics after losing three straight to the Los Angeles Angels.

Kansas City’s sputtering offense was the biggest reason for the winless trip. The Royals were limited to just four hits Wednesday and scored nine total runs while batting .201 in the five losses.

“We have to find runs,” Kansas City manager Trey Hillman said. “We have to streak it up on the upside soon. For five days we didn’t swing the bats as consistently well as I know we can. We need to right the ship when we get back home.”

The Royals have had no trouble scoring runs at Kauffman Stadium.

Kansas City, which opens a seven-game homestand Thursday, has scored 42 runs while batting .329 during its six-game home winning streak. The Royals haven’t won seven straight in Kansas City since winning their first 11 there in 2003.

Kansas City hasn’t had much success against the Orioles (14-20) at Kauffman lately, though. The Royals went 1-3 at home against Baltimore last season and have dropped 14 of the last 17 meetings in Kansas City.

Gil Meche(notes) (2-3, 4.97 ERA) also hasn’t much success against Baltimore lately.

Meche, who takes the ball Thursday, is 0-6 with a 3.65 ERA in eight starts against the Orioles since defeating them on July 17, 2005, when he pitched for Seattle. In two starts against Baltimore last season, the right-hander was tagged for 10 runs in 11 innings.

On Friday, Meche allowed four runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts in 5 2-3 innings of a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

Although the Orioles have had plenty of success in Kansas City lately, they’ve lost nine of 10 away from Baltimore.

In Wednesday’s 8-6 loss to Tampa Bay, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones(notes) left in the fourth inning with a mild right hamstring strain. He appeared to hurt his leg running out an infield single in the second, but remained in the game.

“Hopefully, I can come back tomorrow, but I’d say (I’ll miss) a couple of days,” Jones said.

If he’s lost for significant time that could spell trouble for Baltimore’s offense. Jones leads the Orioles in batting average (.370) and home runs (eight) and is 9 for 16 with three homers and seven RBIs in his last four games.

Jeremy Guthrie(notes) (2-3, 4.97) takes the ball for Baltimore on Thursday seeking his first win since April 11.

After posting a 2.25 ERA in winning his first two starts of the season, Guthrie is 0-3 with a 6.07 ERA in his last five outings. On Friday, the right-hander gave up three runs—all on a first-inning homer to Alex Rodriguez(notes) — and seven hits while striking out a season-high eight in six innings of a 4-0 loss to the New York Yankees.

In his last start against the Royals on May 29, 2007, Guthrie gave up two runs and three hits in seven innings of a 6-2 victory.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Guthrie KC vs. G. Meche KC
10-17 Record 6-10
5.04 ERA 5.09
110 K 95
60 BB 58
1.42 WHIP 1.57

Scoreboard

Thursday, May 14