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CLE@KC: Guthrie works 6 2/3 to earn his third victory

Jeremy Guthrie is on the verge of setting a Royals record. All he has to do Friday is exactly what he's done since last August -- don't lose.

Guthrie is undefeated over his last 16 starts, dating back to last August, and he'll take the mound for Friday's series opener between the Royals and White Sox at Kauffman Stadium.

Guthrie shares the Royals record with the late Paul Splittorff, who went 16 straight starts without a loss from Aug. 13, 1977, to April 22, 1978. Guthrie owns the longest active undefeated streak in the Majors, and he's the first pitcher with such a 16-start stretch since the Braves' Kris Medlen, whose undefeated streak lasted from May 31, 2009, to last Sept. 30.

Guthrie is 8-0 over those 16 starts, but perhaps the most important thing to him is this: The Royals are 14-2 in those games.

"Ultimately, it means a lot because it means that hopefully the guys behind me, when I go out, are confident they have a chance to win the game," Guthrie said after his last start, when he pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Indians on Sunday despite scattering six hits and walking three.

Guthrie also has a strong track record at home since joining the Royals in a trade with the Rockies last July, posting a 6-2 record and 2.45 ERA at Kauffman Stadium.

And he's been tough on the White Sox during his brief time in Kansas City, going 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA and five quality starts in 35 2/3 innings. He won his 2013 debut at U.S. Cellular Field on April 4, holding the White Sox to one run on five hits and a walk over six innings while striking out a season-high nine.

White Sox right-hander Dylan Axelrod gets the chance to end Guthrie's string of success as he makes his sixth start of the season for the White Sox, who have dropped five of their last six at Kauffman Stadium.

Axelrod has a solid 3.95 ERA this season but has four no-decisions and one loss.

White Sox: Peavy scratched with back spasms
The White Sox already have two starting pitchers on the disabled list in Gavin Floyd and John Danks, and they had to scratch another one Thursday afternoon, as back spasms kept Peavy from making his scheduled start against the Rangers.

Peavy was replaced by Hector Santiago, who was still pitching on regular rest after throwing 86 pitches in relief of Floyd last Saturday against the Rays. Floyd was diagnosed with a right flexor strain and placed on the disabled list Sunday. The White Sox hope to have a treatment plan in place for Floyd next week.

• Third baseman Conor Gillaspie didn't win the American League Rookie of the Month Award, but he's impressed the face of the White Sox during his 26 games with the club.

"He's doing great the first go-around here. He's getting better every day it seems like," first baseman Paul Konerko said. "He can really hit.

Gillaspie is hitting .319 with three homers and five RBIs.

• Closer Addison Reed is a perfect 10-for-10 in save situations this season and has converted 16 straight dating back to last season.

Royals: Shields introduces 'King of the Game'
• The Royals have a new postgame victory celebration -- whenever they win, a neon sign lights up on the clubhouse wall and is presented to the "King of the Game," an honor given out by the players and led by pitcher James Shields.

"It's not necessarily going to be the guy who plays the best," said Shields, whose former team, the Rays, started a similar clubhouse celebration in 2012. "We're going to distribute it out evenly as much as we can."

The sign features a deer, a crown for the "king" and a "W" for a win and got a full endorsement from manager Ned Yost.

"It cultivates a winning attitude," Yost said. "It puts foremost and out front that our job is to win a baseball game, every single day, and it doesn't matter if you've gone 0-for-4 or 4-for-4. At the end of the day, if we've won a baseball game, we celebrate it as a team and I think it's a great thing to do."

Worth noting
• The Royals' game Thursday against the Rays at Kauffman Stadium was postponed after 3 1/2 innings because of inclement weather and will be replayed at a later date. No makeup date has been announced, but whenever that game happens, it will be played from the beginning in its entirety.

Kansas City encouraged fans to keep their ticket stubs and parking receipts from Thursday's game, as they will serve as rain checks for the rescheduled game.

• Konerko leads all active players with 142 RBIs against the Royals and ranks second with 42 home runs.

• Chicago has homered in 11 straight games.

• The White Sox are 2-1 in a stretch where they play 15 of 18 away from U.S. Cellular Field.

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