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Duffy works on breaking balls, cruises in start

Merrifield, Orlando rack up two more hits each vs. White Sox
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Royals left-hander Danny Duffy, likely the Opening Day starter, didn't exactly reach back with everything he had in his second spring outing Thursday.

Duffy didn't need to.

View Full Game Coverage

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Royals left-hander Danny Duffy, likely the Opening Day starter, didn't exactly reach back with everything he had in his second spring outing Thursday.

Duffy didn't need to.

View Full Game Coverage

Spring Training information

Duffy breezed through three scoreless innings, giving up two hits and one walk while striking out four. He threw 48 pitches, 30 for strikes. Next time out, he'll be stretched out to 65 pitches.

"Today I didn't really hit the gas 100 percent with my fastball," Duffy said. "When I climbed the ladder, I let it eat a little. But it's a long season. Just trying to hit my spots."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Duffy's plan Thursday was simply to execute his breaking pitches.

"Yeah, I think just my breaking-ball command and slider is what I wanted to work on," he said. "Pretty pleased with my slider. Bounced a couple of curveballs but my fastball got me back in the count the whole way."

The Royals crushed the White Sox, 12-0, behind three home runs -- Jorge Soler (his team-leading fourth), Samir Duenez and Cody Asche.

Two-hit Whit

Second baseman Whit Merrifield continued his amazing spring with two more hits. Merrifield had a double and a two-run triple.

Merrifield now is 11-for-22 with three doubles, three triples and a home run.

"He's torrid right now," manager Ned Yost said. "Him and Paulo [Orlando] have been like that since they got here."

Video: KC@CWS: Merrifield swipes home on a double steal

Camp battles

Orlando, likely in a battle for the fifth and final outfield spot with Michael Saunders and Tyler Collins, continued his hot spring with two hits and a hit by pitch. Orlando now is hitting .474.

Saunders, who is 6-for-14 this spring, had a two-run single.

Injury update

Infielder Adalberto Mondesi continues to sit out with a sore arm. He could be back this weekend.

Center fielder Bubba Starling remains out with oblique soreness. He also could be back this weekend.

Up next

The Royals play split-squad games Friday. Right-hander Ian Kennedy will take the mound at Surprise Stadium against the D-backs in a 2:05 p.m. CT start. Right-handers Wily Peralta, Brad Keller and Kevin McCarthy also are expected to throw.

In the other split-squad game, right-hander Scott Barlow will start against the Dodgers in Glendale at 2:05 p.m. CT. That will be an MLB.TV game. Right-hander Kyle Zimmer also is expected to make his Cactus League debut.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Danny Duffy, Whit Merrifield