When Jeremy Guthrie beat the Chicago White Sox in August, there’s no way he could have realized it would be the beginning of an unbeaten streak that’s only been seen one other time in Kansas City Royals history.
Now he can’t stop hearing about it.
After Friday’s originally scheduled series opener was wiped out due to freezing rain, Guthrie looks to extend his streak to 17 starts without a loss Saturday night as the Royals host the White Sox in this now-extended three-game set.
After allowing six hits and striking out five in 6 2-3 innings of a 9-0 win over Cleveland on Sunday, Guthrie improved to 8-0 with a 2.44 ERA over his last 16 starts. The unbeaten streak, which began with a 2-1 win over the White Sox on Aug. 8, ties the Royals’ franchise record set by Paul Splittorff spanning the 1977 and 1978 seasons.
“I knew it’s been a number of starts in a row, because people kept reminding me of it,” said Guthrie, who is 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA in five starts in 2013. “Ultimately, it means a lot because hopefully the guys behind me when I go out are confident that we have a chance to win the game.”
Guthrie, who hasn’t won more than 11 games in his career and hasn’t had a winning season since 2007, has seemed to rejuvenate his career in Kansas City after being acquired from Colorado in July.
“I have the kind of confidence I want to go into each start (thinking) that good stuff or not, I can keep us in it and give us a chance to win the game,” Guthrie said.
The right-hander has been stellar against the White Sox since being traded to the Royals, going 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA as Kansas City has won each of his five starts. He’s struck out 28 and walked three over 35 2-3 innings.
Kansas City (15-10) should be well rested as it looks for its third straight victory. Its series finale versus Tampa Bay on Thursday was postponed after 3 1/2 innings due to snow, and freezing rain wiped out Friday’s game.
The teams will now finish their three-game set Monday, an originally scheduled day off for both clubs.
“I used to worry about these kinds of things, but not anymore. There’s nothing you can do about it,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We’ll play when we can play.”
Injuries have been an issue for the White Sox, though they took the final two of a three-game set at Texas with Thursday’s 3-1 victory. Scheduled starter Jake Peavy was scratched earlier in the day because of back spasms, but Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to provide all the offense Chicago (12-15) would need.
Hector Santiago was scheduled to pitch in this opener but had to be moved up to replace Peavy, putting Dylan Axelrod in line to start. Gavin Floyd is on the disabled list with a flexor muscle strain in his right arm.
“I think every day you go through the list and figure out who’s available, and the training room’s full,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s just part of playing the game. You just deal with it.”
Axelrod (0-1, 3.95) has given up a total of six runs while pitching six innings in each of his last three starts. He didn’t get a decision in any of those outings, though, including after giving up three runs to Tampa Bay in an 8-3 loss Sunday.
The right-hander has never started against Kansas City, though he earned the victory after pitching two scoreless innings of relief in a 9-8 win July 13.