The 2013 season started strong for both Mike Pelfrey and Jeremy Guthrie, and the two veteran right-handers will aim at repeat performances when the Twins and Royals meet on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Pelfrey will be making his first career appearance against the Royals, who have won four of their last five games following Monday's 3-1 victory in their home opener.
Last Thursday, against the Tigers, Pelfrey demonstrated his successful recovery from Tommy John surgery by giving up only two unearned runs in 5 1/3 innings. It was his first appearance since April 21, 2012.
"It felt good," Pelfrey said afterward. "Always going into a year, whether you're coming back from injury or not, it's always good to get that first one out of the way. It went good. We got a 'W' and won the series, which is huge."
In his season debut last Thursday, Guthrie carried over the success he enjoyed with the Royals last season following a trade from the Rockies. Facing the White Sox, he gave up one run on five hits -- all singles -- in six innings, walking one and striking out nine. He credited his slider for allowing him to rack up nine or more strikeouts for the sixth time in his career.
"He didn't give up a lot of bad strikes," Chicago's Gordon Beckham said. "It seems like he made a lot of good pitches. It's not like we missed too many pitches today. I think he was that good."
Guthrie has won six straight decisions dating back to Aug. 8, and in 12 outings over that span, he has a 2.12 ERA. According to Elias, that makes him the first Royals pitcher to go undefeated in at least 12 consecutive starts since Kevin Appier did so in 13 straight from 1994 to 1995.
Twins: Homecoming for Pelfrey
Pelfrey, who hails from Wichita, will have a group of about 20 people making the three-hour drive to see him pitch.
"I'm excited about it," he said. "I've never pitched here, and it's a nice ballpark. It's a pretty cool place to play."
• Catcher Joe Mauer went 2-for-4 on Monday, breaking a tie with Gary Gaetti and taking sixth place on the Twins' all-time hits list. He now has 1,278 for his career. Mauer needs four doubles to tie Gaetti for seventh on the club's all-time doubles list.
Royals: Flawless glovework continues
Kansas City entered Monday's game errorless in its first six contests for the first time in club history, a streak that included 201 defensive chances. That made the Royals one of four Major League clubs without a miscue to that point. The streak stayed alive on Monday.
Last season the Royals made 113 errors, the sixth-most in the Majors. They ranked 20th in FanGraphs.com's ultimate zone rating (UZR), an advanced metric that compares how many runs players save with the average at their positions.
• With Aaron Crow finishing Monday's victory, three Royals have notched saves this season: Crow, Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland.
• Mauer and Justin Morneau have combined to go 10-for-24 against Guthrie, with two doubles, three home runs and seven RBIs.
• Jeff Francoeur and Miguel Tejada are the only Royals to have logged more than three plate appearances against Pelfrey. Francoeur is 6-for-19, with three doubles and a triple.