Danny Duffy returned to action, today. Just in time to watch a AAA-level offense do pretty much nothing against Corey Kluber. Duffy appeared to give up a lead-off home run to Francisco Lindor in the bottom of the first but after review it was ruled a foul ball and Duffy ultimately didn’t allow a hit until two outs in the fourth inning.
It was the only hit Duffy ended up allowing while striking out eight in five innings, unfortunately that hit was a two-run home run to Edwin Encarnacion following a Whit Merrifield throwing error. All was quiet until Cleveland picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh when Giovanny Urshela hit a weak grounder to short and beat out the attempted double play.
Kluber, for his part, struck out nine in seven innings and allowed three hits and no runs. Brian Shaw came on to pitch the eighth and struck out pinch hitter Jorge Bonifacio before getting into trouble. Merrifield singled into right, then Melky Cabrera hit a soft grounder to first that was booted by Carlos Santana but ruled another single. Left-hander Tyler Olson was called upon to face Eric Hosmer and Brandon Moss. Hosmer hit a weak grounder that Olson bobbled enough to allow the runners to advance to second and third. Brandon Moss was gifted an extra strike on a 2-2 pitch and lined the next one into center for a two-run single.
With right-handed Cheslor Cuthbert coming up, Terry Francona again went to his pen and called out Cody Allen for a four-out save. Ned Yost countered by having Mike Moustakas pinch hit. Mike unceremoniously struck out to end the threat.
In the ninth Cody Allen worked into some trouble when he walked Escobar with one out and then gave up a single to Alex Gordon on a groundball through the wide open left side. Allen then blew away Drew Butera with a 3-2 fastball right down the middle. Moments later he did much the same to Whit to complete the save and the series.
The Royals are now three games under .500. Their final off-day is tomorrow and will be followed by a three-game series in Canada against the Blue Jays. The Royals have not yet announced their starting pitcher for that game but they will face Marcus Stroman (11-8 3.08).