There was a lot of excitement prior to tonight’s game at Kauffman Stadium. Left-handed pitcher Danny Duffy was making his season debut and the boys in blue were back home following a lengthy road trip that included stops in Chicago, New York, and Tampa. Coming off of an impressive 10-2 win against 2018 Cy Young Winner, Blake Snell, Kansas City looked to continue winning ways on Friday night. Facing Tyler Skaggs, who posted an 0.43 ERA in three starts against the Royals in his career, the lineup continued to lower those numbers in the series opener. The effort from Skaggs resulted in the visitors claiming game one, 5-1.
For Duffy, his outing was shaky to start. After putting the first two men on base, Duffy was then bailed out on a 6-4-3 double play. Needing just one more out to get through the first inning unscathed, Albert Pujols crushed a 2-1 pitch into the left field fountains, giving the Angels a 2-0 lead. However, this did not rattle Duffy. He was able to hold the Angels to no runs over the next three innings.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Royals bats had an opportunity to bail Duffy out. With two outs and the bases loaded, Ryan O’Hearn took Skaggs to a full count. Skaggs was able to prevail as he challenged O’Hearn with a fastball middle-in which led to a swinging strike three and all three men being left on base. The Angels added another run before Duffy was pulled. Relievers Richard Lovelady and Heath Fillmyer both gave up a run in their outings. The offense was not that much better, only being able to total five hits and one run that came off of a sacrifice fly.
Falling to 8-18 on the season, Kansas City will attempt to knot the series up at one a piece on Saturday night. Jorge Lopez (0-2, 4.50 ERA) will take the hill as the Angels will counter with Jaime Barria (2-1, 4.26 ERA). First pitch is slated for 6:15 CT.
Earlier on Friday, the Royals placed Lucas Duda on the 10-day injured list and recalled third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez from Triple-A Omaha. Gutierrez, 24, was batting .333 (22 for 66) with a double, two home runs and 12 walks in 18 games with the Storm Chasers. He was acquired last June as part of the trade that sent closer Kelvin Herrera to the Washington Nationals.