BALTIMORE - Jeremy Guthrie didn't envision this.
The veteran righthander, tabbed by Royals manager Ned Yost to start ALCS Game 3 Monday night in Kansas City, spent five long years with the Orioles from 2007-11, going 47-65 with a 4.12 ERA and never sniffing the postseason.
But it's not as if he could see this postseason run coming when he joined the Royals in 2012, and he certainly couldn't have seen it resulting in a clash with the Orioles.
"I think this is very serendipitous that I leave a franchise that I was a part of for five years and had a long drought of being in the playoffs, but had a storied history and past, and end up on a team with another rich history as well, but an even longer drought,'' Guthrie said before Game 2. "To be in the playoffs with Kansas City is very exciting. And then to come back and play against a team that I played with before makes it even that much more interesting and ironic, I think.''
Guthrie, 14-11 with a 4.13 ERA this season, has not started a game since Sept. 26, meaning he'll have had quite a bit of time off when he takes the mound in Game 3.
"I've never had this much time between starts aside from being on the DL, so I don't view it one way or another,'' he said. "I was able to throw a simulated game, which at least gave me the opportunity to go out there and face hitters and treat them like I would in a game . . . I don't think you'll see too much difference. But hopefully being on the mound a number of times as I have been, pitching that game and going through the normal routine will allow me to go out there and feel just like I do when I pitch every five days.''
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he sees some parallels between his time in Baltimore working with general manager Dan Duquette and what he helped build in the early 1990s with then-Yankees GM Gene Michael.
"Similarities, yeah, [the] farm system,'' Showalter said. "I look down the field in August, we had six or seven guys on the field through our system in the heat of a pennant race. That was a pretty nice moment for me, and I know for Dan and our farm system.''
Lorenzo Cain became the second Royal to collect four hits in a postseason game, joining George Brett, who did it once in the 1985 ALCS and once in the 1985 World Series.