Opinion

Danny Duffy opens Royals series in Minnesota as long trip begins

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy (41) throws in the sixth inning during Tuesday's baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 24, 2014 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy (41) throws in the sixth inning during Tuesday's baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 24, 2014 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The Kansas City Star

The Royals visited Target Field back in April, and suffered through one of their worst series of the season. The Twins swept their guests, bullied James Shields and capitalized on a gaffe by Wade Davis for their final victory.

The Royals return with their season once more in a perilous place. A tumultous nine-game stay at Kauffman Stadium, complete with six losses, can be forgotten with quality performance on this upcoming road trip. It is the longest thus far this season, nine games in 10 days.

The trek begins on Monday night, featuring a pitcher who was in the bullpen the last time they Royals came here. Danny Duffy has emerged as a vital piece of the team’s rotation, especially as the veterans suffer from regression and decline.

Duffy has an opportunity to complete perhaps his finest month as a professional. In five June starts, he’s allowed only six earned runs in 31 2/3 innings, good for a 1.71 ERA. He has given up only five extra-base hits. He has struck out 28 batters and walked 10. Now he faces the Twins,

Here are the matchups for this week in The North Star State:

Monday, 7:10 p.m.: LHP Danny Duffy (4-7, 2.69 ERA) vs. RHP Yohan Pino (0-1, 6.30 ERA).

Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.: RHP James Shields (8-3, 3.79 ERA) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (4-6, 5.74 ERA).

Wednesday, 12:10 p.m.: LHP Jason Vargas (7-3, 3.53 ERA) vs. RHP Kevin Correia (4-9, 5.08 ERA).

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

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