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CWS@KC: Guthrie tosses a four-hit shutout

Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie will make his first career start against the Orioles in his return to Baltimore on Thursday.

Whether he views it as an opportunity to prove his old team wrong or not, it probably couldn't come at a better time. The Royals are reeling, having lost the first two of this three-game set and three in a row overall for the first time this season.

Guthrie will oppose O's right-hander Freddy Garcia in the finale at Camden Yards.

"I think enough time's passed -- and having seen them last year, to be able to say hello and congratulate them on the way they were playing -- now it feels more like just going out there and doing what we do every five days," Guthrie said.

Guthrie tossed his first career shutout against the White Sox in his last outing, and is off to one of his best starts.

"He was just magnificent," Royals manager Ned Yost said after Saturday's 2-0 win. "He had everything going -- he had great movement, great action, great location, great stuff."

"Amazing, the guy was lights-out all night. The guy was locked in, had the hitters definitely off-balance all night," outfielder Lorenzo Cain said. "That's what we expect out of J. Guts, that's what he does."

Guthrie, a mainstay in the Orioles' rotation for five years, was traded to Colorado before the start of last season, as Baltimore picked up reliever Matt Lindstrom and Jason Hammel. Despite being traded, Guthrie enjoyed his time in Baltimore.

Guthrie joined the O's in 2007, winning 47 games over five seasons, and was the club's Opening Day starter in 2008, '09 and '11.

"I look back very fondly. I always have," Guthrie said. "Obviously, I pitched good at times, not good other times, we struggled as a team, but the last couple months in 2011, I think everyone saw the potential the team had and the way the lineup was starting to swing it and just play good baseball. Last year with the trade, I think it just made the team complete and they were able to go out and win consistently for the entire season."

Garcia will make his second start for Baltimore. After signing a Minor League deal with the Orioles following his release from San Diego, Garcia made his Baltimore debut against the Angels, and was nearly unhittable.

The veteran Venezuelan hurler didn't allow a hit through six innings -- going 6 2/3 frames, while allowing two runs on three hits and one walk, while striking out two.

"He was a big difference in the ballgame," manager Buck Showalter said after Saturday's 5-4 win in 10 innings. "We're proud of him. He was the difference maker, so that's a good debut."

"I had been waiting for this start and this opportunity," said Garcia, who had his contract selected from Triple-A Norfolk before Saturday's game. "I wanted to make it happen, come here and throw strikes. This team, they're pretty good, and I was trying to make good pitches every inning. I was throwing a lot of sinkers early and started throwing my other stuff, changing speeds like I always do."

Orioles: Gonzalez sent to DL
Garcia's start on Thursday comes after Miguel Gonzalez was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a blister on his right thumb.

The 28-year-old is 2-2 with a 4.58 ERA in six starts this season, allowing 18 earned runs in 35 1/3 innings. Gonzalez pitched six innings on Friday against the Angels, but left the start because of the blister.

The O's recalled 25-year-old right-hander Alex Burnett from Triple-A Norfolk to take Gonzalez's place on the roster. In six relief appearances with the Tides, he was 1-0 with a 0.96 ERA, tallying eight strikeouts and no walks.

Royals: Yost mulling lineup changes
Despite a lot of hits, the Royals can't seem to score very many runs. Kansas City is third in the American League in team average, but 12th in runs scored.

As a result, Yost is looking to shake up the lineup a little bit.

One shift would likely see Kansas City's leader in home runs and RBIs, Alex Gordon, who hit his fifth homer of the season batting leadoff on Wednesday, move down in the order.

"I'm thinking about maybe putting Alex back into [No.] 3. And I'm just trying to look at it and see what benefits us the best," Yost said. "[But] I've got about nine different scenarios I'm looking at. ... I'm not big on changing the lineup from day to day. You've got to have some movable parts, but the least amount of movable parts the better for me."

Worth noting
• Guthrie is unbeaten over his last 17 starts with Kansas City dating to Aug. 8, 2012, at Chicago. He currently holds the club record, passing Royals Hall of Fame lefty Paul Splittorff, who had a 16-start stretch from 1977-78. Guthrie currently holds the longest active streak in the Majors and has won nine decisions over the span.

• Orioles closer Jim Johnson matched a club record with his 34th consecutive save in Wednesday's 5-3 win over the Royals. One more and he'll pass Randy Myers (34 in 1997).

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