Three Run Sixth Inning Leads Royals to 3-2 Victory
By David Hill
During Danny Duffy‘s previous 15 starts, he had received a total of 42 runs of support. While the Royals offense did not kick in until he had departed from the game, a three run sixth inning was enough as the Royals defeated the Minnesota Twins 3-2.
Once again, at least in the early stages, the Royals offense made one of the Twins starters look like the second coming of Bob Gibson. This time, it was Phil Hughes who had the honor of looking more than slightly competent on the mound, as he out performed Duffy over the first five innings.
Despite giving up ten baserunners in his 5.2 innings, Duffy managed to control the damage for the most part, with the only blemish being a home run to lead off the second by Josh Willingham. The Twins had a chance to add to their lead in the fourth, when Brian Dozier and Willingham executed a successful double steal. Salvador Perez‘s throw glanced off of Mike Moustakas‘s glove towards the edge of the outfield grass, and Dozier took off for home, where he was thrown out by quite a few feet to effectively end the rally.
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The Twins had another chance to score, loading the bases with two outs in the top of the sixth. Danny Duffy, who struggled with his command as the game progressed, had reached 105 pitches after walking Kurt Suzuki, prompting Ned Yost to summon Jason Frasor. Frasor did his part, striking out Chris Colabello to end the threat and keep the Royals within striking distance.
That strikeout changed the momentum of the game, as the Royals slumbering lumber came to life in the bottom half of the frame. Omar Infante singled to open the inning, and one out later, scored on Perez’s RBI double. Alex Gordon followed with an RBI double off the base of the center field wall, plating Perez with the go ahead run. A two out RBI double by Moustakas gave the Royals a 3-1 lead heading into the top of the seventh.
Minnesota came back in the top of the seventh. Scott Downs came in and served up a double to Chris Parmelee, the only batter he faced. Kelvin Herrera came in, and gave up consecutive singles as the Royals lead was cut to 3-2. With runners on first and second and no one out, it seemed as though the Royals would find yet another way to break their fans’ hearts. Instead, Herrera fought back, getting a sacrifice bunt and striking out the next two batters to leave both runners in scoring position.
That would prove to be the last real threat that the Twins mounted. Although Greg Holland made it interesting in the ninth, as he walked Eduardo Nunez with one out, and threw two wild pitches to put the tying run in scoring position. However, Holland ended the game by striking out Sam Fuld, preserving the 3-2 victory.
Frasor earned the victory, as he struck out the only batter he faced. Danny Duffy allowed only one run in his 5.2 innings, but gave up four hits and walked six batters.
Infante and Gordon each had three hits in the victory.