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Hayes makes first start for KC; Lough returns

KANSAS CITY -- While southpaw Danny Duffy made his first Major League start of the season on Wednesday night against the Twins, he had a familiar face behind the plate in Brett Hayes, who also made his first start for the Royals.

Hayes, who caught the majority of Duffy's 10 appearances and eight starts while at Triple-A Omaha and was called up on Sunday, went 2-for-4 with a double in his first at-bat and a run scored in the Royals' 5-2 win.

"Brett knows what to look for, he knows when [Duffy's] getting a little too excited, when to calm him down, when to pump him up. He knows the quality of his pitches because he's used to them," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It just works out better that way."

Duffy was 3-0 with a 4.21 ERA for Omaha and 0-2 with a 3.94 ERA with Double-A Northwest Arkansas as he made the long trip back from Tommy John surgery last summer.

"Duffy's been doing an excellent job down there it Triple-A coming off surgery," Hayes said. "His biggest thing is just getting ahead and staying in the strike zone. When he does that, he is tough to hit."

Hayes, who appeared in 143 games with the Marlins from 2009-12, batted .231 with 11 home runs and 34 RBIs in 68 games with Omaha. He batted eighth Wednesday against the Twins.

"I'm looking forward to it, going out there and getting to play here, it's going to be fun," Hayes said.

Outfielder David Lough returned to the lineup in the leadoff spot on Wednesday -- going 1-for-4 -- after leaving Sunday's game with right quadriceps tightness. He was 8-for-26 on the last road trip with a .500 slugging percentage.

Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for
Read More: Kansas City Royals, Brett Hayes, David Lough