Tribe pitching thriving heading into series with Royals

Carlos Carrasco takes the mound Tuesday against the defending AL champs.

Aaron Josefczyk/AP

Few would have anticipated a disastrous outing for Jeremy Guthrie considering his recent showings, but he was historically bad his last time out.

He’ll try to move past last week’s ugly start and help the slumping Kansas City Royals against the visiting Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.

Guthrie (4-3, 6.70 ERA) allowed a career-high 11 runs and four homers while getting three outs in a 14-1 loss to the New York Yankees last Monday. Thirteen of the 16 batters he faced reached base, and the right-hander became the second starter since at least 1914 to surrender 11 or more earned runs while completing no more than one inning.

He had won three straight starts with a 1.96 ERA.

"It was just one of those days for him. It happens," manager Ned Yost said.

Guthrie hasn’t had much success against Cleveland, going 5-5 with a 6.14 ERA in 14 games – 12 starts. He last faced the Indians on April 28, surrendering four runs in five innings of an 11-5 road victory. He didn’t get the decision.

Kansas City has fallen behind Minnesota by a half-game in the AL Central after dropping five of six. The Royals (29-19) have totaled six runs in those losses and managed four hits in Sunday’s 2-1, 11-inning defeat to the Chicago Cubs.

Facing Cleveland might spark Kansas City’s lineup, as the club batted .296 in taking four of the first six meetings. Eric Hosmer, 5 for 26 in his last eight contests, has hit .400 with 12 RBIs in his past eight matchups and has three homers against the Indians in 2015.

Mike Moustakas is 4 for 20 in his last six overall but 12 for 25 in the season series with Cleveland.

The Indians (24-26) have won 10 of 13 and have a chance in this series to get back to .500 for the first time since being 2-2. Cleveland has posted a 2.87 ERA in its last 13 games and the bullpen has been particularly impressive, allowing one run over 13 1-3 innings in the past four.

The relievers yielded one hit in 6 2-3 scoreless innings of Sunday’s 6-3, 12-inning victory at Seattle.

Jason Kipnis doubled twice and finished May with 51 hits and 37 runs.

"But forget the month, I think he’s an unbelievable player," manager Terry Francona said. "He does so many things to help us win. It’s been like that for a while now. He’s been a force."

Carlos Carrasco (6-4, 4.24) has won his last two starts, holding Cincinnati and Texas to three runs over 14 innings with 15 strikeouts. His 10.36 strikeouts per nine innings are a career high.

He allowed only a solo homer in a season high-tying eight innings of a 12-3 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday. Carrasco was backed by nine or more runs for the third time in his last four victories.

"You know what, I never think about that," he said of the run support. "I just continue to try to throw zeros."

Carrasco has won three straight starts twice, both in 2011.

The right-hander beat Kansas City 10-3 at Kauffman Stadium on May 6, giving up three runs in seven innings. The Indians had lost Carrasco’s last eight appearances against the Royals, and he posted a 0-3 record and 5.09 ERA in that span.

Alex Gordon is 2 for 21 with 10 strikeouts off Carrasco.