Royals ace Danny Duffy helped break a three-game losing streak with another solid start in a 4-2 Kansas City victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at Kauffman Stadium Saturday night.
The KC Royals improved to 52-58 with the 4-2 win, and now trail the Cleveland Indians by an almost insurmountable 11.0 games in the AL Central. The Blue Jays fell to 63-48 and continue to share the AL East lead with the Baltimore Orioles.
The Kansas City Royals managed to score more than four runs for the first time in 10 games, which shows just how pathetic the offense has been in the 2016 season. That nine game stretch going back to Wednesday, July 27 is the longest streak without scoring more than three runs in KC Royals history.
Wonderful. At least the dry spell is over.
Danny Duffy got off to a slow start by giving up a solo home run to leadoff hitter Devon Travis. That dinger followed Friday’s performance in which the Toronto second baseman slammed two home runs, including the game winner in the ninth inning. Duffy also gave up an RBI single to Travis in the top of the fifth inning.
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The Kansas City Royals also rallied from a 2-0 deficit with three runs in the fifth inning. Alex Gordon singled to begin the inning and moved to second on a wild pitch by Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez. Paulo Orlando slapped an infield single to short, followed by a bunt single by rookie Raul Mondesi.
Alcides Escobar added another infield single to short to score Gordon, which made the third Kansas City Royals hit without getting a ball out of the infield. Cheslor Cuthbert lined out to second, and Lorenzo Cain grounder to third forced Orlando at home plate. But, Eric Hosmer singled to center to drive in both Mondesi and Escobar to put the Royals ahead 3-2.
An even greater miracle occurred when the Kansas City Royals bullpen actually held the lead. Peter Moylan came on in the seventh inning to record the last out with Kevin Pillar at second base. Moylan came back in the eighth inning to retire the heart of Toronto’s order by retiring Jose Bautista on a grounder, and striking out Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin around an infield single by Edwin Encarnacion.
Kelvin Herrera pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.
The best news of the night, however, is Danny Duffy’s continued strong performance after joining the rotation in May. On Saturday, Duffy pitched 6.2 innings, while allowing 5 hits, 2 walks, and 2 earned runs while striking out 6. Duffy lowered his season ERA to 2.97 and ran his record to 8-1 with the win.
Duffy has clearly found himself in his second to last season of team control before becoming eligible for free-agency after the 2017 season. While it would have been nice for Duffy to have become this guy earlier in his career, at least it happened while the Kansas City Royals still retained control over him.
If KC Royals general manager Dayton Moore REALLY wants to salvage something from the wreckage of the 2016 season, he could consider signing Duffy to a long-term deal.