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Royals pitcher Danny Duffy gets injection in shoulder but hopes to finish season

Royals’ Danny Duffy playing through shoulder stiffness

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy has been playing through shoulder stiffness for the past four starts.
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Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy has been playing through shoulder stiffness for the past four starts.

Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy received an anti-inflammatory shot in his throwing shoulder after he allowed six runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings in Saturday night’s loss to the Cardinals.

Duffy has played through stiffness in his shoulder for weeks. He anticipates continuing to do so, adamant the problem isn’t worrisome enough to warrant extended time off. The Royals will determine after his next bullpen session whether or not Duffy can make his scheduled start in Thursday’s series finale against the Blue Jays.

Manager Ned Yost said on Sunday the stiffness in Duffy’s left shoulder surfaced four starts ago, when Duffy allowed the Tigers to score seven earned runs in 5 2/3 innings on July 25 at Kauffman Stadium. Duffy has posted a 7.54 ERA (19 earned runs in 22 2/3 innings) and allowed opponents to bat .320 against him during that four-start stretch.

His average fastball velocity, however, didn’t diminish dramatically until Saturday night, when it hovered around 90 mph with both iterations of his heater.

“I’m not gonna run from it,” Duffy said after the game. “I’m gonna attack it and do what we gotta do to stay on the field and keep grinding.”

An unrelated move: The Royals activated veteran reliever Blaine Boyer from the disabled list, transferred outfielder Jorge Soler to the 60-day disabled list and optioned right-handed pitcher Glenn Sparkman to Class AAA Omaha.

Soler will be eligible for activation on Aug. 16, but it’s likely his rehab will take longer. He had his walking boot removed earlier this week but has participated only in light baseball activity. Outfielder Brian Goodwin, however, may begin a rehab assignment later this week.

Boyer, who missed nearly 2 1/2 months because of a lower back strain, made eight rehab appearances between stints for Class AA Northwest Arkansas and Omaha. He allowed one run, nine hits and three walks in 8 1/3 innings.

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