Jones and Guthrie: Teammates for four seasons, opponents tonight

Jeremy Guthrie pitched for the Orioles from 2007 through 2011, a total of five seasons. For most of the last four years he wore an O’s uniform, when he took the mound, Adam Jones was playing behind him in center field.

But tonight they compete against each other for the first time. They will be friends off the field, but Jones said he’ll be putting that friendship aside once game time hits tonight.

“We were teammates four years. Was his teammate,” Jones emphasized. “It’s the business. The business part of it is the reason why he is not here. But he’s the opponent now. I played against my best friend and I would take a base hit away from him in a heartbeat.

“We’ve watched him pitch. We’ll do our homework on him, see what he’s been doing in his last few starts to be successful and just attack what he has been doing.”

Guthrie is 4-0 with a 2.40 ERA over six starts and takes a 16 2/3-inning scoreless streak into this game. He pitched his first career shutout, a four-hitter against the White Sox, in his last start on Saturday.

“He’s having a good year. Really, since about the All-Star break last year he’s been dealing. I applaud him, but tonight he is the opponent,” Jones said.

Guthrie went 47-65 with an ERA of 4.12 in nearly 1,000 innings with the Orioles. He takes what is now a Kansas City record 17 straight starts without a loss into tonight’s outing. Guthrie is 9-0 since last Aug. 8.

The Orioles traded Guthrie to Colorado on Feb. 6, 2012. Not only does he hold no hard feelings over that deal, he said he totally understands why the Orioles made that trade.

“For sure. One thing, hopefully, that people can respect is I’m very honest,” Guthrie said. “If I don’t pitch well, I won’t hide from it. I looked at it last year and I knew the starter they were getting in Jason Hammel and the relief role they were getting with (Matt) Lindstrom. Frankly, they didn’t lose much and, as it turned out, they gained quite a bit. It turned out to be a great trade for them.”

Guthrie has faced four current Orioles before and that quartet is just 3-for-29 (.103) combined against him, with Alexi Casilla at 3-for-14, Chris Davis 0-for-10, J.J. Hardy 0-for-3 and Nate McLouth 0-for-2.

What is your prediction? How will Guthrie fare against his former team tonight?

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