Major League Baseball
Royals-Diamondbacks Preview
Major League Baseball

Royals-Diamondbacks Preview

Published Aug. 7, 2014 2:10 a.m. ET

The Kansas City Royals aren't concerned with how they get it done just as long as the wins keep piling up.

They'll try for a fourth straight victory and road series sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night.

One night after recording double-digit hits for a third straight game in a 12-2 rout of Arizona, Kansas City (59-53) was held to five but held on for a 4-3 victory to secure its fifth consecutive winning series.

''Every game is huge," said manager Ned Yost, whose team is 3 1/2 games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central and just a half-game back of Toronto for the second wild-card spot.


Mike Moustakas hit a two-run homer and drove in all four runs as the Royals improved to 11-3 since losing seven of eight.

"It's important to go out and try winning every game, every series," said Moustakas, who was 3 for 28 without a homer and two RBIs in his previous eight contests.

"We'll go out (Thursday) and get even more momentum."

With a double in his second straight game, teammate Billy Butler is 8 for 13 in the last three contests after going 1 for 17 in his previous five.

"It's been an inconsistent year for me and I've prided myself on my ability to be one of the more consistent guys in the league," Butler told MLB's official website. "So I'm just trying to grind it out."

Kansas City's Jeremy Guthrie (7-9, 4.50 ERA) posted a 10.07 ERA in four July starts, but got off to an excellent start in August by yielding three hits and striking out six in six innings of a 1-0 win at Oakland on Friday.

"He was ultra sharp," Yost said. "He was commanding all of his pitches, he was changing all his speeds really effectively, he was hitting all his spots."

Guthrie can't be much worse than he was the only other time he faced Arizona in 2012, when he gave up seven runs and 11 hits in 3 1-3 innings of a 10-0 defeat at Chase Field with Colorado.

A loser in four of five, Arizona (49-65) has totaled 11 runs and gone 7 for 39 with runners in scoring position in the last four. The Diamondbacks went 2 for 14 in that situation and stranded 11 runners Wednesday.

''It was a game we should have done better, a more productive job of taking care of our opportunities,'' manager Kirk Gibson said.

Though the Diamondbacks have yet to win any of the five starts made by Vidal Nuno (0-2, 3.07), the left-hander has allowed three earned runs and seven hits over 12 2-3 innings while going 0-1 in his last two. He gave up a run and three hits over six Friday, leaving with a three-run lead before Pittsburgh rallied to win 9-4.

This will be his first appearance against the Royals.

Arizona's Mark Trumbo has gone 12 for 40 in his last 10 games to raise his average from .184 to .214, but he's 0 for 9 versus Guthrie.


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