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Offense shut down by Skaggs as Royals fall to the Halos, 5-1

The bats never got hot

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals Peter G. Aiken

Bringing excitement to Kauffman Stadium with left-hander Danny Duffy on the bump for the first time this season, the Royals welcomed the Los Angeles Angels for a three-game weekend series. Coming off an impressive offensive outburst against 2018 Cy Young winner, Blake Snell, Kansas City looked to take the momentum into Friday night. Facing Tyler Skaggs, who posted an 0.43 ERA in three starts against the Royals in his career, the lineup continued to lower those numbers in the series opener. The effort from Skaggs resulted in a the visitors claiming game one, 5-1.

For Duffy, his outing began with a shaky first couple of hitters. Putting the first two men on, Duffy was bailed out on a 6-4-3 double play. Needing just one more out to escape his first inning of work with a scoreless frame, Albert Pujols hammered a 2-1 pitch into the fountains in left field, giving the Halos a quick 2-0 lead. Bouncing back nicely, the California native found his footing and held Los Angeles to zeros for the next three innings.

In the bottom of the fourth, Kansas City presented itself with their best opportunity to push across a handful of runs. With two outs and the bases loaded, Ryan O’Hearn worked a full count on Skaggs. Challenging the first basemen with a fastball middle-in, O’Hearn failed to make contact and went down swinging, stranding three on base. The Angels tacked on one more run to Duffy’s final line in the fifth before he departed with three earned runs to his name. Relievers Richard Lovelady and Heath Fillmyer were both nicked for a run each in the latter innings. Tallying five hits in total on the evening, the Royals only participants on offense came from Chris Owings, Alex Gordon, Hunter Dozier, Martin Maldonado, and Whit Merrifield. Although Adalberto Mondesi put the Royals on the board in the bottom of the ninth by way of a Sac-Fly, four of the five hits were singles.

Falling to 8-18 on the season, Kansas City will attempt to knot the series up at one a piece on Saturday night. Jorge Lopez (0-2, 4.50 ERA) will take the hill as the Angels will counter with Jaime Barria (2-1, 4.26 ERA). First pitch is slated for 6:15 CT.