Danny Duffy Leads Royals to Rain-Shortened Win

6 years 11 months 1 week ago Wednesday, April 11 2012 Apr 11, 2012 Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:27:32 AM CDT April 11, 2012 in Baseball
By: Associated Press

OAKLAND, CA (AP) -- Danny Duffy thinks he's ready to extend his success at Oakland Coliseum to the rest of the American League.

Duffy pitched six sharp innings and the Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland Athletics 3-0 in a rain-shortened game on Tuesday night.

"He commanded the ball well, changed speeds well and had a good breaking ball," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He got out of his delivery a time or two but had the ability to reel it back in and pitched very, very well."

Duffy (1-0) allowed one hit, struck out eight and walked four, continuing his dominance of the A's in front of an estimated 150 friends and family members. The 23-year-old left-hander improved to 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA in three career starts at this aging stadium five hours north of his hometown in Southern California.

"I don't know, I don't really think it's anything in this year," said Duffy, who has five career wins. "I feel like it's going to be pretty consistent everywhere we go, so I'm pretty excited."

Mike Moustakas hit an RBI double in the fourth and Mitch Maier added a solo homer in the seventh for Kansas City, which snapped a 25-inning scoreless streak in Oakland.

The start of the game was delayed 43 minutes by rain, and a steady drizzle continued throughout the night.

A second delay was called after Eric Hosmer struck out in the top of the eighth during a downpour. The bat slipped out of Hosmer's hands and landed just above the steps in the Royals dugout, prompting umpires to call for the tarp. The game was officially called at 11:07 p.m. local time.

Aaron Crow pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for his first career save.

Cliff Pennington doubled with one out in third for Oakland's only hit, and he was picked off. Duffy pitched with runners on base in two other innings and got out of trouble each time with some help from Kansas City's defense.

Both teams were pressing to get the game in regardless of the weather, since this is Kansas City's lone trip to Northern California this season and rain is predicted for the Bay Area through the rest of the week as well.

Kansas City pushed across two runs in the fourth against Graham Godfrey. Billy Butler hit a leadoff double, took third on Jeff Francoeur's bloop single and scored when Moustakas hit a long fly ball that glanced off the glove of center fielder Yoenis Cespedes. The Cuban rookie had turned and was running at a full sprint toward the wall when the ball hit the palm of his glove and bounced off.

"That pitch to Butler, I don't know how he got to it, and to keep it fair, well, he's a good hitter," Godfrey said. "I thought everything went pretty well except for a couple of pitches."

Francoeur scored on Humberto Quintero's sacrifice fly.

Duffy made it hold up, with a little help from the Royals' defense.

First baseman Hosmer made a sliding grab of Jemile Weeks' foul ball in the first, then Lorenzo Cain chased down Daric Barton's deep fly ball to center to start an 8-4-3 double play in the second.

"I was so hyped after that," Duffy said. "It was just a great night overall. Our defense came to play."

Even when he had control problems in the fifth, walking a pair of batters, Duffy worked out of trouble by striking out Pennington to end the threat.

Duffy earned his first major league victory here on June 4 when he held the A's to two runs over six innings, then won in Oakland again on Sept. 6.

"I walked four guys today, and that's something I'm going to have to figure out a little bit more," Duffy said. "I was a little bit out of my rhythm today."

Maier, who entered the game as an injury replacement for Cain, homered off Jerry Blevins in the seventh. Cain left the game with a strained left groin following his double play in the second.

Godfrey (0-1) allowed six hits in six innings.

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