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Royals look like a real baseball team for a minute, beat White Sox 5-0

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This has been a long time coming

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox
Jorge Bonifacio follows through on his RBI triple in the fifth inning.
Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

In many adventure and RPG, games you will face enemies that you will attempt to learn how to deal with in the course of a single engagement. Regular enemies will be relatively simple to deal with and you may not even need to learn their mechanics. Bosses can be a bit more difficult but as they use moves that remove a chunk of your health you might have to back off and recover but you’ll now be able to recognize that move and deal with it in the course of the same fight.

There is a similar but slightly different video game genre called Souls-like. It’s named after Japanese video game company From Software’s flagship game series Demon Souls and Dark Souls. In this genre, even the regular enemies will regularly kill you until you identify their patterns. Bosses are an order of magnitude more difficult.

A series of baseball games is normally like the first. You’ll get hit a few times but you’ll also dish out your own hits. If you’re good or lucky you win more of the fights than you lose. If you’ve turned the difficulty up - you’re playing against a more talented team - you’ll probably lose more than you win but you’ll still get your licks in.

The Royals against the White Sox this season have been more like a particularly bad player in a Souls-like game. They’ve been repeatedly murdered by massive blows by their opponent. They’ve lost time and time again. And it seemed like they just weren’t making any progress.

Another signature of Souls-like games, at least in my experience, is that when you finally break through it feels ridiculously easy. And that’s how today’s game went. Danny Duffy went seven scoreless innings striking out eight and allowing only seven total baserunners. Jorge Bonifacio belted a two-run home run into the left-field bullpen on a pitch about a foot inside in the second at-bat of the game to give the Royals a lead they’d never give up. Bonifacio added an RBI triple in the fifth inning and scored his third run when Salvador Perez sent White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez to the showers with an opposite-field bomb in the eighth.

Merrifield and Bonifacio’s continued hitting is a bright spot but the best news to come out of this game was Duffy. This was his second straight start without allowing a run and striking out more batters than innings pitched. It also marked his fourth such start in his last five and his fifth in his last seven. It was also his second straight start without allowing a single run. Whatever was bothering Duffy earlier in the year appears to be mostly resolved, now. This is great news whether they still hope to trade him or think he’ll still be leading the next competitive rotation.

Looks like that walk did him some good, after all.