BALTIMORE – Buck Showalter doesn’t like to show his sentimental side. He certainly didn’t when it came to Jeremy Guthrie.
Guthrie was the winning pitcher in the first game Showalter managed for the Orioles in Aug. 2010, and was the de facto staff leader during much of the five seasons he pitched for the Orioles.
On Thursday night, the Orioles faced Guthrie for the first time since they traded him before the start of last season, and they saw a pitcher who hasn’t lost since Aug. 3, 2012.
Guthrie won his 10th straight by throwing six strong innings in the Kansas City Royals’ 6-2 win over the Orioles before 23,282 at Oriole Park.
Showalter said he was happy for his former pitcher, sort of.
“I didn't pay much attention to that part of it. We've kind of turned the page,” Showalter said.
“Jeremy did some good things for us. I'm glad he's doing good things with his career and life. Jeremy had some good outings for us, had some times he was challenged. Just like every pitcher does. That wasn't a point of emphasis for me. But he pitched well enough for them to win tonight. He gave them six innings. We thought he might continue, but I guess not."
Guthrie (5-0) was a fan favorite in his five seasons in Baltimore and in Feb. 2012 was traded to Colorado for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom. He moved on to Kansas City and found success and a lucrative three-year contract.
It was obvious that Guthrie watched his former manager’s post-game news conference.
“I was just trying to win the game. I think someone else put it this way: we've turned the page. I executed a few pitches, made a couple mistakes, Guthrie said.
“Any time we're part of a meaningful game, that's a real positive." .
He pitched six innings, allowing two runs, one unearned, on seven hits, walking three and striking out three.
The Orioles (21-14) move on to Minneapolis after they failed to sweep a series for the first time this season.
Freddy Garcia, who pitched six no-hit innings on Saturday in his first start for the Orioles, began brilliantly, retiring 10 straight before things came apart in the fourth.
With one out in the fourth, Lorenzo Cain reached on an infield single. Alex Gordon hit a long, high home run to right field, his third in as many games this series, and the Royals led 2-1. Billy Butler singled, and Eric Hosmer hit an opposite field home run to left, his first since Sept. 11, 2012, and the Kansas City (18-13) lead was 4-1.
“One bad inning, two bad pitches. I was behind in the count to both hitters and I gave up two home runs, five runs. I was trying to do my best and tried to keep the guys in the game. That’s all I can go,” Garcia said.
In the second, Adam Jones reached on an error by Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar. With one out, Matt Wieters singled, and Jones scored on J.J. Hardy’s single. Wieters was thrown out trying for third.
Chris Davis’ home run leading off the bottom of the fourth cut the lead to 4-2. It was his 10th of the year, and his first since Apr. 28.
Garcia (0-1) left after six innings. He allowed four runs on five hits, walked one and struck out three. Only one hit came in an inning other than the fourth.
“He threw the ball well. Couple pitches up a little bit, but he threw the ball well,” Wieters said.
“That one inning, as an offense we've got to be able to try and pick up for that inning. We couldn't just quite get enough tonight.”
T.J. McFarland made just his second appearance in the last two weeks, and served up a home run to Mike Moustakas to lead off the seventh. It was his second home run in two games, and Kansas City led 5-2.
Salvador Perez’s eighth-inning single made it 6-2.
Aaron Crow, Kelvin Herrera and Luke Hochevar combined to hold the Orioles to one hit in the last three innings.
NOTES: The game was delayed 31 minutes by the threat of rain. None fell, and the grounds crew had the tarp unrolled, but never did cover the field.
-Alex Burnett, who was recalled from Norfolk earlier in the day, made his first appearance, allowing one hit in the eighth.
-Steve Johnson will be recalled to start on Saturday in place of Miguel Gonzalez, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
-The Orioles begin a three-game series at Minnesota on Friday night. Jason Hammel (5-1, 4.10) faces Mike Pelfrey (3-3, 6.35).