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Royals edge Rox behind Duffy's one-hit outing

MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- Royals left-hander Danny Duffy appeared to have no-hit stuff from the get-go.

Duffy fired a no-hitter for 5 2/3 innings before Colorado's Nolan Arenado clubbed his 28th home run, a two-run shot. The Royals hung on for a 3-2 win on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium after the Rockies loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, and left-hander Scott Alexander got the final out after coming in for closer Kelvin Herrera.

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KANSAS CITY -- Royals left-hander Danny Duffy appeared to have no-hit stuff from the get-go.

Duffy fired a no-hitter for 5 2/3 innings before Colorado's Nolan Arenado clubbed his 28th home run, a two-run shot. The Royals hung on for a 3-2 win on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium after the Rockies loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, and left-hander Scott Alexander got the final out after coming in for closer Kelvin Herrera.

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Royals manager Ned Yost said after the game that Herrera was experiencing forearm tightness, but the Royals wouldn't know more about his condition until Wednesday. Alexander, meanwhile, picked up his first career save by coming into the game with a 2-0 count and getting Pat Valaika to hit into a forceout.

Video: COL@KC: Herrera exits with an injury in the 9th

"I was just trying to throw strikes and get a ground ball," Alexander said. "Situation like that, Kelvin battling, I just wanted to finish it off. Big win for us."

Video: COL@KC: Alexander retires Valaika for the save

The Royals moved within six games of the first-place Indians in the American League Central, and they remain 1 1/2 games behind the Twins, who won Tuesday, for the second Wild Card spot.

The Rockies slipped a half-game behind Arizona for the top Wild Card spot in the National League, and have lost 22 of their last 28 on the road. Overall, they've dropped 10 of their last 14. On Tuesday, they swung big, but had just three balls leave the bat at 95 mph or faster, according to Statcast™.

"It's not just on the road," Arenado said. "We're not good enough at home, too. Some of these at-bats that we're having are just not good enough. We've got to shorten up. We have to change. We can't just be swinging for the fences the way it looks like we are.

"Maybe we do have to get together and figure this out. ... We have the right people. It's just a matter of going out and doing it."

Duffy went six innings and gave up one hit and two runs while walking three and striking out seven. Duffy got two quick outs in the sixth before DJ LeMahieu walked on a borderline 3-2 pitch. Then Arenado jumped on a 1-1 fastball and powered it 411 feet, per Statcast™, over the center-field wall.

Video: COL@KC: Arenado goes deep for Rockies' first hit

"The story of the game, though, was what Alexander did," Duffy said. "He deserves all the kudos."

Rockies right-hander Jon Gray was strong as well, going 6 2/3 innings while giving up six hits and three runs (two earned). He walked one and struck out six.

Video: COL@KC: Gray retires Moose to end the threat

Gray sees positives in loss to Royals

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Welcome back, Salvy: Royals All-Star catcher Salvador Perez, just activated from the disabled list, came up big in the Royals' two-run fourth. After Eric Hosmer's infield single scored Melky Cabrera, who had tripled, Perez rifled a liner into the right-center field gap off Gray. Hosmer raced around to score on Perez's double, making it 3-0.

Video: COL@KC: Perez doubles to score Hosmer in the 4th

Big passed ball: The Royals jumped on the board in the first off Gray when Whit Merrifield singled, stole second and advanced to third on a groundout. With two out and Hosmer up, Gray uncorked a slider down and in that handcuffed catcher Jonathan Lucroy and skipped back to the fence behind the plate. Merrifield scored without a throw and Lucroy was charged with a passed ball -- not that Gray agreed with the scoring decision.

"Throwing that wild pitch, it's kind of tough to let those things go, because the score ended up being 3-2," Gray said. "I thought I threw it into the grass. My fastball isn't supposed to do that."

Video: COL@KC: Merrifield crosses on passed ball in the 1st

QUOTABLE
"We had a chance at the end even though we didn't get a lot going all night. We had the go-ahead run at second base there in the ninth. Our guys fought back hard to get in it against a great closer. Just didn't get the knock at the end." -- Rockies manager Bud Black

Arenado barrels up
Hardly anyone hit a ball hard, as Arenado's homer was the only barrel of the game. According to Statcast™, a "barrel" has an exit velocity of at least 98 mph and a launch angle of 26-30 degrees. In layman's terms, Arenado got all of it.

"I hit it good," said Arenado. "I've never really gone dead-center on the road a lot. I knew I hit it good enough."

WHAT'S NEXT
Rockies: Rookie right-hander Antonio Senzatela (10-4, 4.56 ERA) has made just two starts after the All-Star break, as the Rockies have given him time not only to rest his arm and hone his pitches, but learn to get the proper rest and even refine his diet. "No more pizza," he said. He hopes to feast on the Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. MT.

Royals: Right-hander Ian Kennedy (4-9, 5.06 ERA) takes the mound in Game 2 of the series on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. CT. Kennedy gave up five runs and six hits over 2 2/3 innings last Friday in a 10-1 loss to the Indians.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

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

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.