Guthrie not able to win back-to-back starts, O's lose 6-2

Update: Billy Butler hit a three-run homer in the last of the seventh and Alcides Escobar added a two-run triple as Kansas City beat the Orioles 6-2 to even the three-game series at a win each. Jeremy Guthrie gave up six runs over seven innings to fall to 5-14 with an ERA of 4.34.

Vlad Guerrero and J.J. Hardy drove in runs for the Orioles who fall to 3-6 on this road trip and 43-64 on the season.

For the first time in a few weeks, Jeremy Guthrie takes the mound tonight without trade speculation dogging him. He won't have to answer questions later tonight about whether he thinks this was his last start in an Orioles' uniform.

Guthrie is 2-1 with an ERA of 2.57 over his last three starts, which came against Boston, Los Angeles and New York. He was pitching those games against winning clubs while the trade speculation was circling around him and that made the outings even more impressive. In his three starts previous to this stretch, his ERA was 8.78.

Guthrie is trying tonight to pick up wins in back-to-back starts for the first time all year. Those two wins in his last three starts are the most wins he has had in any three-start stretch on the year.

Meanwhile, Kansas City has won Luke Hochevar's last six starts. The right-hander has an ERA of 3.26 over his last three starts after pitching to an ERA of 8.27 in his previous four.

In five career starts against the Orioles, he is 0-4 with an ERA of 7.98.

The Orioles lead the season series, five wins to two over Kansas City on the year and have won the last four between the clubs. Tonight, they are looking to win two straight on the road for the first time since June 19-20.

Elsewhere on the Orioles draft front, 14th-round pick K.J. Hockady out of Bel Air, Md.'s John Carroll High said via Twitter today that he will play at the University of Maryland and not sign with the Orioles. Here is that tweet.

I have also heard, but not gotten confirmation yet, that the Orioles 12th-round pick Jason Coats, is not expected to sign either and is likely to return to play college ball at TCU.

Coming tomorrow in this space: I will have a blog about Bowie's LJ Hoes and his current home run binge. He is having a heckuva year at Double-A and I will run some interesting quotes on Hoes from Bowie manager Gary Kendall and hitting coach Denny Hocking.

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