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Danny Duffy Near Perfect in Royals 1-0 Victory

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Duffy mows down the first 20 Orioles he faces in a flirt with perfection, then holds on to win.

Jamie Squire

Danny Duffy flirted with perfection tonight, retiring the first twenty Orioles he faced, carrying a perfect game into the seventh inning until Adam Jones singled up the middle with two outs. Remarkably, Duffy needed just two strikeouts to retire those first twenty hitters, which perhaps allowed him to stretch himself to seven innings. Duffy would not walk a single hitter all night, just the second time in his career he would make a start with no walks issued. In fact, Duffy would rarely get to a three-ball count, and was in command much of the evening. After Nelson Cruz led off the eighth with a single, Ned would pull Duffy after 97 pitches - 65 of which were strikes. If Duffy has turned a corner, he turned it in a big way tonight.

Offensively - well, you know the drill by now - the Royals didn't do much, but they did just enough. Nori Aoki again led off the bottom of the first with a hit. After a steal of second, he scored on Billy Butler's RBI single. That was it. The Royals managed just four hits tonight, with just one walk, althought they struck out just once. All four hits were singles. It was as impotent as an offense can be in a victory. I'm sure they're patting themselves on the back though for winning the right way.

Greg Holland gave everyone an awful scare in the ninth with a one-out walk, followed by a Manny Machado single. The tension would get to Manager Ned Yost who was ejected arguing what was ruled a foul tip, but on replay appeared to be a strikeout of Adam Jones. DON WAKAMATSU IN TO SAVE THE GAME! Holland would strike out Jones, and after loading the bases with a walk to Chris Davis, retired Nelson Cruz to save the win for Duffy.

Gordo had another great catch to preserve the perfecto, but this was Danny Duffy's night. It will give him a warm memory when he's demoted back to the bullpen in a few weeks to make way for Bruce "He Don't Need No Spring Training Competition" Chen.