Decision between Guthrie, Young looms for Royals

Decision between Guthrie, Young looms for Royals

CLEVELAND -- At some point, Royals manager Ned Yost will have to decide between Jeremy Guthrie or Chris Young for the fifth and final spot in the rotation.

Though Yost could skip the No. 5 spot because of Monday's off-day, he said he still will make the decision by next Tuesday.

Yost has admired Guthrie's ability to keep the Royals in most of his starts -- they are 60-40 in his starts for the team -- but on Wednesday, Guthrie certainly didn't help his cause. Guthrie gave up 10 hits and eight runs (seven earned) in 5 1/3 innings as Kansas City fell to Cleveland, 12-1.

"For five innings, it was kind of classic Guthrie," Yost said.

But it all unraveled in the sixth as the Indians hit Guthrie for six runs, including three homers.

"I left some pitches up," Guthrie said. "Man, it just got going on me really quickly. They feasted on me there in the sixth."

Before that, Guthrie wiggled out of jams early as he hit three batters, walked another and gave up four hits through three innings. But the Royals were only down 2-0.

"I was wild," Guthrie said. "I yanked a lot of pitches early. I was pulling on balls. I did not have my best stuff. But I made it work for five innings."

Then came the sixth, and now comes a decision for Yost. Guthrie insists he's not thinking about his job status.

"All I can do is try to go out there and do my best," he said. "I've had good times and obviously had some rough times. For me, I feel I can be healthy and consistent. Today, I was on my way to a good outing, and it certainly didn't turn out that way. I felt like I was keeping the team in it through five.

"I really don't think about it [the job]. It doesn't help or hurt someone to think about that. I'm just trying to go out there and win a game. That didn't factor into my thinking the last five days or any time during my career."

Guthrie's ERA is now at 5.65.

"I look at the year and I see 11 runs in one inning," Guthrie said of his start on Memorial Day against the Yankees. "There are some years you look back and say, 'Hey, if I take away that six-run game or seven-run game or eight-run game, it's a good season.' Literally, this year it's just that 11-run inning. I don't know what the numbers are [in terms of hurting the ERA]. I know maybe [my ERA] would be mid-4."

Actually, without the Memorial Day game, his ERA would be 4.82.

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.