KANSAS CITY -- There are still no answers regarding Royals ace Danny Duffy.
Duffy's rough start to 2018 continued on Saturday night as he was battered for seven hits and five runs over four innings in an 8-3 loss to the Yankees at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals have lost six of seven.
Duffy fell to 1-6 and his ERA ballooned to 6.88, the worst among those with at least seven starts in the Major Leagues. He have up two home runs, including a three-run shot to Gleyber Torres on a hanging slider that gave the Yankees a 5-2 lead in the fourth.
After the game, Duffy again was bewildered.
"It's miserable," Duffy said. "Sometimes you're not special at something. Right now, I'm not special at pitching. What are you going to do? Run from it with some phantom DL [garbage]? I'm not going on the DL. I feel great. Do they want to talk about the bullpen? I don't know. It's not my decision.
"I'm pitching awful right now. Talk is cheap. I'm terrible. I'm sick of this. I'm terrible. I just want to help the team."
Royals manager Ned Yost said of Duffy's season, "Perplexing is not the word. We know what type of pitcher he is, we know that he could be pitching much better. We still as a group believe that he will."
But Yost admitted he may have to try something. It could be skipping Duffy a start or simply putting him in the bullpen.
"I'm going over a bunch of different things in my mind right now," Yost said. "He's struggling right now. He's grasping. I've got full confidence that he's going to get through it, he's going to break through it. It's just we've got to kind of step back a little bit, simplify a little bit, and get back on track. Do I have an idea how to do that? Yeah, I think I do. I'll talk to Danny about it in the next day or so, and go from there."
Before Torres' home run, the Royals had tied the score at 2 on an RBI double by Ryan Goins and an RBI single by Jorge Soler. Goins had two doubles, reached base three times and scored two runs.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
The Royals saved a run in the seventh on a strong relay throw from second baseman Whit Merrifield. With Miguel Andujar on first, Clint Frazier doubled into the gap in right-center. Andujar was waved home, but center fielder Jonathan Jay got the throw in quickly to Merrifield, who threw a dart to Salvador Perez as the All-Star catcher applied the tag on Andujar on a bang-bang play.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Royals replay specialist Bill Duplissea was good on his first 11 challenges this year, but he has not won his last two, including a potentially crucial review on Saturday in the fifth inning. Mike Moustakas tried to score from third with two out on Perez's double into left-center. The relay throw to home was on time, but Moustakas appeared to slide under the tag of catcher Sanchez. Home-plate umpire Jim Wolf called Moustakas out. The Royals challenged and the call was ruled to stand.
Royals left-hander Eric Skoglund (1-3, 5.58 ERA) will take the mound on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. CT in the series finale against the Yankees at Kauffman Stadium. Righty Sonny Gray (2-3, 6.39) will start for the Yanks. Skoglund went a career-high 7 2/3 innings on Monday against the Rays and gave up two runs. He leads all American League rookies in innings pitched with 40 1/3.