Game two of a three-match series between the host KC Royals and the Houston Astros proved to be a good-old-fashioned pitchers duel on Saturday night.
Danny Duffy (4-4 / 4.03 ERA) started for the Royals and pitched extremely well, continuing a string of excellent games of late. In six innings of work, he gave up just one run on three hits and a walk, with three strikeouts. Apparently, his work attempting to emulate the magnificent Wade Davis is paying huge dividends: How could it not?
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Speaking of superb relief pitchers, KC’s pen displayed its customary dominance as the best in the business. Ryan Madson, Wade Davis, Greg Holland and Kelvin Hererra were all in a stingy mood, giving up nothing. Even though you brought shame upon your franchise, don’t feel too bad Astros hitters – those guys make everyone look bad.
Meanwhile, Royals hitters had struggles of their own (again). They could muster but seven hits and two walks on the night. Their struggles were exacerbated by some bad luck (couple of near-misses on homers and lots of hard-hit outs), yet they managed a heroic two-out game-winning rally when Paulo Orlando singled, swiped second on a beautifully executed delayed-steal play, then scored on a perfectly placed bloop-shot into right field by Alcides Escobar as 38,393 ecstatic fans cheered wildly inside Kauffman Stadium.
An entertaining win by your hometown first place team is a beautiful thing. Lets be greedy, and demand another victory tomorrow. The uber-talented yet maddeningly inconsistent Yordano Ventura (may I suggest a few sessions with Wade Davis?) will have his shot at beginning on the road to redemption for a series of poor performances that recently resulted in a short-lived demotion to the minors. But it won’t be easy. Some guy named Dallas Keuchel is starting for Houston.