The Royals defense has been one of their strengths during the past few years. Tonight, the defense failed Danny Duffy, sending the Royals down to a 5-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
The game started off well for the Royals. Alex Gordon led off the second with a home run, giving Kansas City a quick lead. They extended that advantage in the fourth, when Josh Willingham led off the inning with a double down the line to left. Gordon lined out to deep center, moving Willingham to third, scoring on Erik Kratz‘ liner to right. Midway through the fourth, the Royals had a 2-0 lead.
Danny Duffy had been pitching well to that point, limiting the Rockies offense to only two singles. However, Colorado got the run back in the bottom of the inning. Nolan Arenado led off with a line drive to center that reached the wall quickly for a triple. A sacrifice fly plated Arenado, cutting the lead to 2-1. However, with the way Duffy was pitching, the game still seemed to be going the Royals way.
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That is, the game appeared to be going the Royals way until the bottom of the sixth. The inning started innocently enough, as Duffy got two quick outs. A grounder to third by Arenado appeared as though it ould be the final out of the inning, but Christian Colon made a bad throw, bouncing the ball towards Billy Butler, who was unable to make the play. From there, the inning came apart. A base hit and a four pitch walk loaded the bases for Matt McBride, making his first start in the majors since 2012. Duffy threw a fastball right down the middle of the plate to start the at bat, which McBride did not miss, sending it into the left field seats for a grand slam to give the Rockies a 5-2 lead.
That score would hold up. Former Royal Jorge De La Rosa shut down the Kansas City offense for the rest of the game, and LaTroy Hawkins nailed down the ninth for the save to send the Royals to a 5-2 loss. Danny Duffy certainly deserved a better outcome, as he allowed five runs, but only one earned, on five hits and a walk, striking out six in his seven innings of work.