Royals

Blue Jays blitz Danny Duffy as Royals fall, 5-2, for 2nd straight loss

Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki scores at home plate past Royals catcher Perez Salvador during the first inning of Thursday’s baseball game in Toronto.
Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki scores at home plate past Royals catcher Perez Salvador during the first inning of Thursday’s baseball game in Toronto. AP

As the baseball took flight off Josh Donaldson’s bat, preparing for a rapid journey into the second deck of Rogers Centre’s left field, Danny Duffy waved his hands at his sides. It was a universal gesture for exasperation, body language conveying a message felt through the Royals dugout: Again?

“My goodness,” Duffy would say later. “He squared that ball up.”

Yes, again. The Blue Jays assembled a lineup stocked with sluggers, and in Thursday’s series opener, the group unleashed their might against Duffy in a 5-2 victory over the Royals. The home run that caused his gesture was Donaldson’s fourth-inning solo laser. It was the third Duffy allowed on the evening.

The power in the Blue Jays’ lineup stems from right-handed hitters. Duffy is a southpaw. The combination proved explosive on Thursday, with Duffy unable to tame his slider or changeup. He lasted just six innings.

“I felt great today, man,” Duffy said. “For the most part, my fastball was where I wanted it to be. I just couldn’t get my slider to go where I wanted it to go. Left a couple changeups up.”

Duffy, 4-5 with a 4.28 ERA, authored his weakest start since his return from the disabled list on June 24. He did not collapse, but instead weathered a series of painful volleys. He balanced four walks with four strikeouts.

Duffy gave up five runs in six innings in a 5-2 loss.

The Blue Jays offense serves as a fair foe for Johnny Cueto, the Royals’ newly acquired ace. Cueto will make his debut as a Royal on Friday night. The Royals must survive three more games here at this haven for home run hitters.

The club welcomed Ben Zobrist on Thursday. He came bearing well-wishes from Billy Butler, the long-time Royal and Zobrist’s teammate this season in Oakland. Zobrist would soon learn the spirit of his new group, on a night he went zero for four.

“These guys are in the driver’s seat right now,” Zobrist said. “It’s exciting to go onto a first-place team, and hopefully contribute in getting them to where they’ve already been heading.”

As Zobrist walked onto the diamond to stretch, a television cameraman backpedaled in front of him, capturing Zobrist’s every step. Zobrist hesitated when he noticed the camera, then returned to a normal pace. The attention attracted Edinson Volquez, who corralled Zobrist in a bear hug.

“Can I get some camera love?” Lorenzo Cain shouted toward the scene. “All I want is three seconds!”

The offense staked Duffy ato two-run lead. They cobbled together a rally after Toronto starter Marco Estrada clipped Cain with a two-out, 1-1 fastball in the back. After a broken-bat single by Eric Hosmer, Kendrys Morales outlasted Estrada in an eight-pitch tango. Morales smoked a two-run double on a full-count changeup.

Suppressing this opponent does not classify as an easy task. Toronto made a splash on Thursday when they traded for Detroit ace David Price. But the addition of former Rockies superstar Troy Tulowitzki rendered an already fearsome lineup properly terrifying.

“You make a mistake, and they can hammer it a long way,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Tulowitzki led off the bottom of the first, and Duffy promptly nicked him with a backfoot slider. Donaldson blistered a double. Jose Bautista hit a seed into right field, right at Jarrod Dyson. Tulowitzki scored on a sacrifice fly. The subsequent innings would be more painful.

Outfielder Kevin Pillar floated a leadoff single along the right-field line to start the second. Duffy hummed a fastball down the middle for catcher Dioner Navarro. The resulting blast landed in the left-field seats.

Duffy would give up solo shots in the next two innings. In the third, he missed with a pair of fastballs to catcher Russell Martin. The third fastball connected with Martin’s barrel.

Donaldson launched that fourth-inning rocket that annoyed Duffy. The offending pitch was a curveball, inside and at Donaldson’s knees. The location did not matter. Donaldson still walloped it.

Duffy would not allow another run. But his teammates failed to touch Estrada after the first. In a park built for power, the Royals could flash little, and bowed to the force of their opponents.

“They capitalized excellently on every single one of my mistakes,” Duffy said. “Hats off to them. They’re a really good team. But I’m better than that. I’m a lot better than I displayed tonight.” .

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

Royals at Blue Jays

▪ WHEN: 6:07 tonight

▪ TV: FSKC

Blue Jays 5, Royals 2


TableStyle: SP-basebattersCCI Template: SP-basebatters

Kansas City

AB

R

H

BI

W

K

Avg.

Escobar ss

4

0

0

0

0

1

.278

Moustakas 3b

4

0

0

0

0

2

.287

Cain cf

3

1

1

0

0

1

.313

Hosmer 1b

4

1

1

0

0

0

.315

Morales dh

4

0

1

2

0

0

.282

Zobrist lf

4

0

0

0

0

0

.264

Perez c

3

0

1

0

0

0

.248

Infante 2b

3

0

1

0

0

0

.236

Dyson rf

3

0

0

0

0

2

.239

Totals

32

2

5

2

0

6

 

TableStyle: SP-basebattersCCI Template: SP-basebatters

Toronto

AB

R

H

BI

W

K

Avg.

Tulowitzki ss

3

1

0

0

0

2

.375

Donaldson 3b

3

1

2

1

1

0

.291

Bautista rf

3

0

0

1

0

0

.231

Colabello 1b

3

0

1

0

0

0

.312

Smoak 1b

0

0

0

0

1

0

.235

Martin dh

3

1

1

1

1

0

.263

Valencia lf

2

0

0

0

1

1

.296

Carrera lf

1

0

1

0

0

0

.268

Pillar cf

4

1

1

0

0

1

.271

Navarro c

2

1

1

2

2

0

.223

Goins 2b

4

0

0

0

0

2

.223

Totals

28

5

7

5

6

6

 

TableStyle: SP-basebyinningsCCI Template: SP-basebyinnings

Kansas City

200

000

000

2

5

0

Toronto

121

100

00x

5

7

0

LOB: Kansas City 4, Toronto 7. 2B: K.Morales (27), Donaldson (26). HR: D.Navarro (3), off D.Duffy; Ru.Martin (15), off D.Duffy; Donaldson (25), off D.Duffy. RBIs: K.Morales 2 (70), Donaldson (69), Bautista (68), Ru.Martin (49), D.Navarro 2 (13). SF: Bautista.

Runners left in scoring position: Kansas City 2 (Zobrist, J.Dyson); Toronto 3 (Valencia, Goins 2). RISP: Kansas City 1 for 3; Toronto 0 for 4.

Runners moved up: Colabello. GIDP: Ru.Martin, Goins.

DP: Kansas City 2 (A.Escobar, Infante, Hosmer), (Infante, A.Escobar, Hosmer).

TableStyle: SP-basepitchersCCI Template: SP-basepitchers

Kansas City

IP

H

R

ER

W

K

NP

ERA

Duffy L, 4-5

6

6

5

5

4

4

96

4.28

Herrera

1

0

0

0

0

0

15

1.85

Medlen

1

1

0

0

2

2

25

5.68

TableStyle: SP-basepitchersCCI Template: SP-basepitchers

Toronto

IP

H

R

ER

W

K

NP

ERA

Estrada W, 8-6

5.2

3

2

2

0

3

93

3.53

Cecil

0.1

0

0

0

0

0

3

4.01

Hawkins

1

2

0

0

0

1

14

0.00

Sanchez

1

0

0

0

0

2

13

3.39

Osuna S, 6

1

0

0

0

0

0

6

2.18

Holds: Cecil (4), Hawkins (1), Sanchez (1). Inherited runners-scored: Cecil 1-0. HBP: by D.Duffy (Tulowitzki), by Estrada (L.Cain).

Umpires: Home, Chris Conroy; First, Angel Hernandez; Second, Scott Barry; Third, Jim Wolf. Time: 2:33. Att: 30,057.

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