Former Tribesman Guthrie takes the mound for Royals vs. Indians
Guthrie has gone 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA over that span, and 2-1 with a 2.33 mark in his last three on the road.
Peter Aiken / USA TODAY Sports
Behind a productive offense and some outstanding work on the mound, the Kansas City Royals have been the best road team in the majors since the beginning of last month.
Now the Royals have an opportunity to lock down their second straight series win on a nine-game, three-city trip.
Kansas City seeks its fifth win in six games overall and 12th in 14 road contests Saturday night when it gives the ball to Jeremy Guthrie against the Cleveland Indians.
At 11-3, the Royals (45-40) are percentage points ahead of Seattle (12-4) for baseball's best road record since June 1. They've averaged 6.2 runs and batted .305, while the rotation has posted a 2.58 ERA in the last 13 away from home.
"It's so great," Moustakas told MLB's official website. "Any time we can build a lead, especially with Ventura on the mound, and the bullpen that we know we've got, it always feels good."
Guthrie (5-6, 3.69 ERA) now hopes to continue that trend after leading Kansas City to wins in each of his last four starts. He's gone 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA over that span, and 2-1 with a 2.33 mark in his last three on the road.
The right-hander allowed four runs - two earned - over 6 2-3 innings Sunday before the Royals scored one in the bottom of the ninth for a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
Guthrie, however, has had his share of troubles with the Indians (41-44), the team he broke into the majors with in 2004. He's 2-4 with a 5.74 ERA in his last seven starts against the AL Central rivals after giving up four runs and a season-high 10 hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 4-3 road loss April 21.
Jason Kipnis homered in that contest, and he's 8 for 14 with two home runs when facing Guthrie the past two seasons. Lonnie Chisenhall is 6 for 11 with a homer over that same span.
On Friday, Kipnis had two hits and Michael Brantley went 2 for 4 with a home run that broke up Ventura's shutout in the ninth inning. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was 0 for 4 and is in a 4-for-35 skid.
Rookie left-hander T.J. House (0-2, 4.28) will try for his first career victory in eight appearances as Cleveland looks to snap a season-high four-game home losing streak after winning 11 of 12 at Progressive Field.
Since allowing a season-high six runs over 3 1-3 innings in a 17-7 win at Texas on June 9, House has given up four runs in 11 1-3 innings in his last two starts. He surrendered one earned run over six innings in Sunday's 3-0 loss at Seattle.
"T.J. was really good," manager Terry Francona said. "On a lot of nights, we're sitting here right now bragging about his outing."
Kansas City's Alex Gordon hopes to snap out of his 2-for-37 slump, but he's just 3 for 18 with one extra-base hit against left-handers since June 14.