Royals fans know too well the numbing statistics. The Royals have lost six of seven and have been shut out in three of their last four games. They have scored in four of their last 44 innings.
There has been a whole lot of zeros going on with the Royals' offense.
"We have a great offense," left-hander Danny Duffy assured. "They have carried us in the past, and they will carry us again."
Duffy, along with starter Edinson Volquez, kept the Royals within striking distance. Duffy struck out the dangerous Bryce Harper with two out in the eighth, then worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth.
Volquez allowed the first two batters of the game to reach base, struck out Harper, but then surrendered an RBI double to Ryan Zimmerman. Volquez was nicked for another run in the inning on Daniel Murphy's RBI groundout, but that was it. Volquez held off the Nationals before exiting so Duffy could face Harper. Volquez finished with seven strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 3.13.
"He was tremendous," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Sometimes it takes guys an inning to get going. Unfortunately it cost Eddie two runs, but from that point on, he was fantastic.
"To get us through two outs in the eighth really helped us. We were down two runs and we had used everyone but [Luke] Hochevar yesterday, so we didn't want to use [our other bullpen] guys in a loss. He really helped."