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Royals lose 5-1 to Indians as Duffy has rough night

An early exit for Duffy is not what we want to see this late in the season.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Duffy had a bad night. On the second batter of the game, Danny Duffy allowed a solo shot to Francisco Lindor. Well...Duffy didn't so much "allow" it as Lindor demanded it. He thwomped that ball out beyond the left field fence.

In contrast to the first run, the next three runs Duffy gave up were on generally weak contact. With two outs in the second inning, Duffy gave up a single to Abraham Almonte and a walk to Mike Aviles. The next two batters, Jason Kipnis and Lindor, hit two fairly well-placed grounders to score three runs. A few steps here or there, and those might be outs. They weren't hit hard. So it goes.

After a walk and another single in the third inning, Duffy was removed in favor of Jeremy Guthrie. Duffy's final line: 2.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR. Duffy threw only 69 pitches. A very bad night indeed. Later, Guthrie fell victim to some small ball in the fourth inning. Aviles walked again (that guy never walked with the Royals....) to lead off the inning. With no outs, Kipnis sac bunted him to second. Aviles scored on another single by Lindor.

The Royals had their first real chance to score in the third inning. With two outs, they had Alex Rios at third and Ben Zobrist at second after a single-double combo and Lorenzo Cain, he of the hottest of bats, at the plate. Cain grounded out to end the inning. The Royals scattered some baserunners through the innings, but that's about all they would do until the seventh. Mike Moustakas took a straight fastball from Danny Salazar deep to right-center field, where a salmon-shorted fellow totally biffed the catch. That's all the Royals did.

The Royals just couldn't muster much of anything against Salazar tonight. He's a tough pitcher, but the Royals need to figure out how to score runs against tough pitchers. The Royals are now 5-10 in September, but their sizable lead remains. The toughest remaining team is the Cubs, and that's only one game. The Royals can do just fine against the Indians, White Sox, Twins, Tigers, and Mariners as they close out the regular season.