Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 7/22/12
The Kansas City Royals hope a return to the American League can help Jeremy Guthrie after he struggled the last four months as a member of the NL. Facing the Minnesota Twins can only help his re-acclimation. Guthrie is scheduled to make his first start for the Royals on Sunday when they close their series against the Minnesota Twins. Kansas City acquired Guthrie from Colorado this week in exchange for Jonathan Sanchez. Guthrie was 3-9 with a 6.35 ERA in 19 appearances - 15 starts - with the Rockies. He is looking forward to a return to the more familiar AL. Guthrie spent the previous five seasons with Baltimore, winning at least 10 games in a season three times. "I'm excited," Guthrie said. "The first thought is disappointment that I couldn't hold up my end of the bargain in Colorado and help that team win games ... But as I looked at what was in my future and I look at the Royals, I see a perfect fit there." Guthrie's final appearance with the Rockies came Wednesday. He allowed six runs and surrendered two homers in 2 2-3 innings of a 9-6 loss to Pittsburgh, but didn't factor in the decision. The right-hander's first start with Kansas City comes against a team he's enjoyed facing. Guthrie is 4-1 with a 2.61 ERA in six starts against Minnesota, giving up two or fewer runs while going seven innings in each of the last three. The Royals (40-53) are trying to win back-to-back games for the first time this month after avoiding a third straight loss Saturday with a 7-3 victory over Minnesota. After scoring one run in each of the previous two games, Kansas City broke out for 16 hits Saturday. Lorenzo Cain had three hits and drove in three runs, matching a career high, while Yuniesky Betancourt had a pair of RBIs. Cain, who came off the disabled list July 9 after missing three months with a strained groin, is hitting .419 with nine RBIs in nine games since returning. "He pacing himself when he needs to and is turning it on when he needs to, but he's really swinging the bat pretty darn good," manager Ned Yost said. "Honestly, he's about 85 percent." Kansas City improved to 4-7 against Minnesota, which had won the previous four meetings between the two. The Twins (39-55) have dropped 10 of 14 overall, scoring three or fewer runs 11 times. Justin Morneau, who is 5 for 14 with two home runs and two doubles lifetime against Guthrie, will not play after being placed on the paternity list prior to Saturday's game. His wife gave birth to the couple's second child Saturday, and the Twins recalled Chris Parmalee to fill Morneau's spot. Minnesota will hand the ball to Samuel Deduno (0-0, 5.59 ERA), who is making his third start. The right-hander went 5 1-3 innings in his first major league start at Texas on July 7, then pitched 4 1-3 innings against Baltimore on Tuesday, allowing four runs and six hits, including a three-run homer, in a 6-4 victory. Deduno has given up three homers and walked eight in 9 2-3 innings over his two outings.
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