Danny Duffy has looked like the best Danny Duffy in the last few starts. For a Royals team that’s getting ready to unload some trade assets, that’s a very welcome sight.
Duffy rolled and got enough offense to carry the Royals, and then the bullpen barely, and I mean BARELY, hung on. The Royals opened their second half on a high note with a 6-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium. In a season that has been full of very few memorable moment, Friday night was a nice blast-from-the-past moment that felt like we were back in 2015.
The Royals, behind some good fortune, got off to a quick start. With two outs and men on second and third, Lucas Duda blooped a lucky single just over the third baseman’s head in left field. It counted as a two-run single, but it was... well, fortunate to say the least. 2-0, Royals.
Minnesota didn’t have much success against Duffy, but they did get one run in the fourth inning on a sac fly. They had the bases loaded with nobody out and managed just one run. Other than that, Duffy was stellar. He cruised through seven great frames of one-run ball, holding the Twins to just four hits. He struck out four and threw 114 pitches. His ERA is down to a season-low 4.40, and his last three outings have been near perfect. After getting the win, he is 6-8.
In the fourth inning, the Royals got the run back when Hunter Dozier lined a double to center field, plating Duda and giving the Royals a 2-1 lead.
Duda helped Duffy in the sixth inning by smashing a homer way up into the right field seats. His eighth blast of the year gave the Royals a 4-1 lead. Salvador Perez later hit a two-run double to put the contest out of reach.
Jason Hammel gave up a random run in the eighth inning because he sucks. It was his first relief appearance at Kauffman Stadium since the 2014 Wild Card game when he gave up the losing hit to Salvador Perez. His hair was bad back then, too.
The Twins loaded the bases with none out in the ninth against the terrible Wily Peralta. They scored a run on a fielder’s choice. Then they scored another on a groundout. They re-loaded the bases. Brandon Maurer came in. He walked a run to make it 6-5. He then got the third out. The Royals survived.
Brandon Maurer is the new saveman. (LOL)
Random tidbit: Duffy entered the game with a 2.20 ERA against Minnesota in 20 career starts, which was the second-lowest ERA in history against the Twins in so many innings. The only starter with a better ERA was Babe Ruth. So there is that.
It was shocking to see the offense actually do some damage against Kyle Gibson, or as we all call him, Cy Gibson. They actually scored four runs in 5.1 innings against him! That’s as many as they’ve scored in all 20 of his games against Kansas City combined!
The Royals are 28-68. Tomorrow, they’ll play game two at 6:15 pm. Go get your Amos Otis bobblehead!