KANSAS CITY -- After giving up two runs in the first inning against the Cardinals, Royals left-hander Danny Duffy looked like he might be in for a short night on the mound.Instead, Duffy settled in, fanning eight and tying a career-high with eight innings as the Royals rallied for a
KANSAS CITY -- After giving up two runs in the first inning against the Cardinals, Royals left-hander Danny Duffy looked like he might be in for a short night on the mound.
Instead, Duffy settled in, fanning eight and tying a career-high with eight innings as the Royals rallied for a 6-2 win on Monday night in the I-70 Series opener at Kauffman Stadium. With the performance, Duffy picked up his third win, as he became the third lefty in Royals history to pitch eight innings with eight strikeouts and no walks in a regular season game, joining Mark Redman (July 19, 2006) and Bud Black (May 23, 1984).
"I never at any point felt like I needed to settle down," Duffy said. "I've felt in control a lot this year. I'm just happy to have played my part [in the win]."
Sure enough, Duffy stayed in control throughout the game. He retired seven straight batters on two separate occasions, and did so efficiently, which was a challenge for him in his last outing, where he threw 103 pitches through 4 2/3 innings against the Mets.
And even on the home run he gave up to Cardinals designated hitter Matt Holliday, Duffy said he felt like he threw a "semi-OK" pitch. It wasn't perfect, but it also wasn't anything to get upset about.
"I didn't really feel as though I needed to bounce back [from the home run]," Duffy said. "You tip your cap in those situations."
That laissez-faire attitude carried Duffy through the rest of the game, as he gave up four hits from that point on. That attitude also came up before Duffy ever stepped on the mound.
When Duffy walked into the clubhouse on Monday, he discovered his normal chair was missing, replaced by a poolside, spa-style chair. Duffy said he thought it was funny and even lounged around in it a bit before the game.
"[It was] no biggie," Duffy said with a smile. "Ned [manager Yost] was like, 'Dude, this is your day, bro. You need to relax.'"
And while the chair didn't carry any extra meaning to Duffy, in a greater sense it was symbolic of the impact he's had on the team. Aside from his even keel on the mound, Duffy's attitude in the clubhouse keeps things from getting too tense.
"Things can get really repetitive," first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "It's funny to have a teammate like that to keep everything loose."
And sure enough, Duffy kept things loose throughout his fourth quality start of the month.
"Another big night for letting the bullpen get completely back to normal," Yost said. "Eight strikeouts, got ground-ball outs ... [It was a] very solid effort by Danny."
Scott Chasen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City.