First of all, a huge congratulations is in order for Alex Gordon who collected his 1000th career hit.
It was a night where nothing could go right for the Arizona Diamondbacks pitching, and everything could go right for the Kansas City Royals offense.
The Diamondbacks had a lead over the Royals for exactly 2.2 innings. They scored Jordan Pacheco on an RBI-single by outfielder Mark Trumbo. That would be the only run the Dbacks offense could muster up until the eighth inning. Danny Duffy went five complete innings with seven strikeouts. It was all up to the bullpen after that, and they came though with four solid innings.
“Duffy doesn’t get very much run support.”
I find myself saying that tonight as the Kansas City offense gave Danny Duffy twelve runs to work with. It started with a three-run dinger from All Star starting catcher Salvador Perez, and escalated from there. For the past two games, the fifth inning has been so kind for the Royals. In the past two games, they have scored thirteen runs in the fifth inning. With two on, Billy Butler crushed a two-run home run to left-center field to give KC a 6-1 lead. After Alex Gordon scored on a wild pitch. With the bases juiced, up comes Nori Aoki. Aoki blasted a ball over the right field wall to give Aoki (!!!!) the third grand slam of the season. Yes, as your eyes do a double-take, I did say Nori Aoki. Alex Gordon had the other RBI as he singled in Billy Butler for the twelfth run of the game.
Danny Duffy is now 6-10 with a 2.39 ERA this season. Over Duffy’s last five starts he has allowed four earned runs, and sat down 26 batters. Duffy has shined in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery.
Billy Butler and Salvador Perez both had quite the night. They were a combined 7-10 with two home runs, and six RBIs. Over the last seven games Butler is hitting .364/.364/.545. It’s an understatement to say that while Eric Hosmer is out, they really need his bat to step up.
The Detroit Tigers beat the Yankees today, so Kansas City gained no ground there. The Angels and Blue Jays both lost. Kansas City now sits 0.5 games back of the second Wildcard spot, and 4.5 games back of first place in the AL Central.
The Royals will send Yordano Ventura (8-8, 3.50 ERA) to face Josh Collmenter (8-5, 4.07 ERA) for game two of the series at 8:40 central time. Let’s hope they didn’t use all of their offense up for Danny Duffy today, and get some runs for Yordano tomorrow.