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SEA@TB: Beavan dominates over eight in win over Rays

After a debut he called "disappointing," Jeremy Guthrie is looking forward to a strong second outing with the Royals.

Guthrie's second start with his new team comes a week after being acquired in a trade that returned him to the American League after three and a half months in Colorado. Guthrie's stint with the Rockies did not go well, and he and the Royals are hoping that a change of scenery would help him right his 2012 ship.

But things did not start as Guthrie had hoped in his Royals debut last Sunday against the Twins. Guthrie allowed five runs over 6 1/3 innings, and Minnesota scored four runs off the righty in the third inning. Guthrie allowed a home run in his fourth straight start and walked three batters -- a number of free passes he hadn't issued since mid-May, when he walked four San Francisco Giants.

Guthrie's record is just 3-10 on the season, and he hasn't won since May 31, against the Astros. Since then, he's 0-7 with a 7.50 ERA.

Most of Guthrie's troubles as a Rockie came at Coors Field, with his road numbers being far better. Friday marks his first road start with Kansas City, and perhaps some of that road luck can carry over. In five career starts at Safeco Field, Guthrie is 2-2 with a 2.45 ERA, and he's limited the Mariners to just a .185 average. Of his four career complete games, two have come at Safeco.

"It's a great ballpark to pitch in," Guthrie said. "It's a pretty ballpark, a nice pitchers' ballpark, usually has good crowds here. It's a good baseball venue."

The Mariners will counter with Blake Beavan, who picked up his fourth win of the season when he faced the Royals at Kauffman Stadium last week. In that start, he allowed five runs on seven hits in six innings of work. The Mariners' offense scored nine times in that game, making Beavan's effort a winning one. It was Beavan's first start after spending some time at Triple-A Tacoma.

He was terrific his last time out against the Rays, holding them to just one run on four hits over eight innings, and he picked up his second win since coming back from Tacoma.

"I think that was definitely the best one of the year," Beavan said. "Something good to build off, from when I was up here and struggling, my last two starts I was up here, then I go down to Tacoma and figure some things out. Just get some confidence back really.

"Just went down there and pretty much relaxed and worked with [pitching coach] Dwight [Bernard] down there and got back in a rhythm like I was at the beginning of the year. Started working on my curveball a lot more. That's what I tried to do coming up here, is start using my offspeed a little bit more."

Royals: Gordon's hot month
Outfielder Alex Gordon is having a very hot July. Gordon has collected a hit in 17 of 22 games. On the month, he's batting .355 with nine doubles, a triple, 11 walks, 10 runs scored and 13 RBIs.

• The trip to Seattle is a return to the Pacific Northwest for Guthrie, who grew up in southern Oregon. But don't confuse the playing conditions in Seattle with those in Guthrie's home region.

"The weather is southern Oregon is very different than Seattle -- a little bit hotter and much drier. There's not much rain in southern Oregon," he said. "A pretty different climate."

Mariners: Aggressiveness paying off
Entering play Thursday, John Jaso and Michael Saunders ranked second and third in the league in batting average when swinging at the first pitch. Jaso was hitting .550, while Saunders was batting .528. Only Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion was finding more success, hitting .609 among players with at least 20 at-bats.

• Jesus Montero's batting average against left-handed pitchers ranked third in the AL entering play Thursday. He is hitting .373 against southpaws, which trailed only New York's Derek Jeter (.383) and Texas' Craig Gentry (.383).

Worth noting
• Mariners manager Eric Wedge might want to get Chone Figgins in the lineup against Guthrie. Figgins is 7-for-20 in his career against Guthrie, including a pair of doubles and four RBIs.

• Three active Royals have tripled against Beavan: Alex Gordon, Alcides Escobar and Jarrod Dyson. The three-base hits by Gordon and Dyson came in last week's game.

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