KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Kansas City Royals are off to the best start in franchise history.
Jeremy Guthrie pitched six shutout innings and the Royals beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-1 on Wednesday night.
The Royals, who won for the fifth time in six games, improved to 26-14, the franchise's best record after 40 games.
''It's surprising,'' Guthrie said. ''All the great teams they had here in the `70s and `80s to not have a faster start than that. It speaks highly of this team.''
The Royals made the playoffs last year for the first time since 1985, but lost to the San Francisco Giants in Game 7 of the World Series.
''You could tell in spring training everyone was locked in to get back,'' said Eric Hosmer, who doubled and scored a run. ''We're a team on a mission. We're trying to get back to what we fell short of last year. This is a great start for us.''
The Royals continue to build off last season, when they won 100 games, including 11 postseason victories.
''There is a real strong feeling when they walk through those clubhouse doors, they are going to win the baseball game that day,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''It's a great feeling to have.''
The Royals tied a club record with 24 consecutive scoreless innings, which was set June 9-12, 1976. That streak ended in the seventh when Brandon Phillips' two-out double off reliever Ryan Madson scored Zack Cozart.
The Reds lost their fifth straight, a season high.
Guthrie (4-2) pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out predicament in the first inning and won his third straight start. He gave up five hits, walked two and struck out three. Guthrie retired 13 on fly balls and two on grounders.
Reds right-hander Jason Marquis (3-4) was pulled after 3 2-3 innings, yielding four runs, four hits, two sacrifice flies, two walks and a wild pitch. In losing his past three starts, Marquis has surrendered 21 hits and 15 runs in 12 1-3 innings for a 15.33 ERA.
Will Marquis remain in the rotation?
''That's a tough question when you're struggling,'' Reds manager Bryan Price said. ''That's a tough question when you've lost five games in a row and there have been some really poor performances in those losses.''
Mike Moustakas, who hit .212 last season, had three hits for his 16th multi-hit game to raise his average to .342.
Kendrys Morales and Alex Gordon drove in two runs each. Morales' 32 RBIs ranks second in the American League.
Phillips had three of the Reds' nine hits.
''I can see why the Royals made it to the World Series last year,'' Phillips said. ''I give credit where it's due and I feel like that's the best team we've played. We've played the Cardinals and they're a good team, but the Royals are the best team we've played.''
Gold Glove LF Alex Gordon crashed face first into the Royals' bullpen fence to catch Todd Frazier's scorcher to end the fifth. Gordon said his son imitates his fearless catches at home. ''He says, `Hey, here goes Alex Gordon,' runs into the wall and falls down,'' Gordon said. ''He's probably going to do it tomorrow when I see him. It's pretty funny. He does it just like Daddy. He runs into the wall and lays there for about 10 seconds. He's got it down.''
Reds: LHP Manny Parra (strained neck), who struck out the side in his only inning Tuesday, will continue his minor league rehab with Triple-A Louisville with another inning on Friday. ... LHP Sean Marshall, who has not pitched this season, had season-ending shoulder surgery Wednesday.
Royals: Backup C Erik Kratz (torn left planter fasciitis) will report Thursday to Triple-Omaha for a minor league rehab. ... LHP Jason Vargas (flexor strain) will throw a simulated game Friday.
Reds: RHP Mike Leake, who starts the series opener Friday at Cleveland, gave up a career-high nine runs and three homers in five innings in his previous start, Saturday at San Francisco.
Royals: RHP Chris Young has never beaten the Cardinals, his Friday opponent. He is 0-3 with a 3.65 ERA in five career starts against St. Louis.