Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/29/13
What Danny Duffy gave the Royals earlier this month in a spot start in Detroit he delivered with even greater emphasis Wednesday night in a 8-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins. Duffy was dominant and at times electric and virtually unhittable. He often flashed those qualities in the past before elbow surgery — the non-iconic Tommy John procedure — put everything on hold. What was different this time was Duffy owned the strike zone. Seven strikeouts and no walks in 6⅔ shutout innings before the Royals went to their bullpen in closing out a fourth straight victory. The Royals flashed some offensive muscle too in hitting three home runs including two absolute bombs by Salvy Perez. It could have been three; Perez just missed a homer in his first at-bat and settled for a double. Perez finished with his third career four-hit game — his single was notable too — and produced his second four-RBI game in three days. He also drove in four runs Monday in an 11-1 victory over Tampa Bay. Alex Gordon opened the scoring with a homer in the third inning and also turned in the game’s top defensive play on a diving catch that ended the first inning. The Royals recalled Duffy officially from Class AAA Omaha before the game although they announced plans Tuesday to have him replace Wade Davis in the rotation for the remainder of the year. The move came 12 days after Duffy in a spot start pitched six scoreless innings in outdueling Justin Verlander in a 2-1 victory in the first game of a double-header sweep at Detroit. Duffy 2-0 responded this time by overmatching the the Twins before exiting after Chris Herrmann’s two-out single in the seventh. Manager Ned Yost seeking to protect what was a 3-0 lead at that point opted for Luke Hochevar to face Chris Colabello — and Hochevar retired Colabello on a routine fly to right. The Royals then blew the game open with a three-run eighth against Casey Fein. A one-out double by Eric Hosmer an RBI single by Billy Butler and a second boomer from Perez. And they weren’t done. Butler bases-loaded infield single highlighted a two-run ninth against Anthony Swarzak pushed the lead to 8-0. Hochevar pitched the Minnesota eighth before Minnesota avoided a shutout on Justin Morneau’s one-out homer in the ninth against Aaron Crow. Duffy permitted five hits all singles while striking out seven and walking none in a 103-pitch outing that included just 30 balls. Minnesota rookie lefty Andrew Albers 2-2 baffled the Royals in big-league debut on Aug. 6 at Kauffman Stadium. He worked 8⅓ innings in a 7-0 victory. Albers was pretty good this time too: two earned runs (three in all) and six hits in seven innings. He gave up Gordon’s homer in the third and Perez’s first bomb after Butler reached on an error in the fourth. It was the Royals’ fourth straight victory since ending a seven-game skid and boosted their record to 68-64 but they remained seven game behind Oakland in the race for the American League’s final wild-card berth.
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