KANSAS CITY — In left-hander Danny Duffy’s first start back from the injured list, he gave the Royals exactly what they needed: A quality start.
Duffy went 6 1/3 innings and gave up just three earned runs in the Royals’ 6-4 victory over the Orioles on Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.
Catcher Meibrys Viloria delivered the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the seventh that scored Alex Gordon, who had doubled in the tying run.
Gordon’s hit came against Orioles left-hander Paul Fry. Royals manager Ned Yost sent up pinch-hitter Cheslor Cuthbert next, which prompted the Orioles to bring in righty Shawn Armstrong. Cuthbert walked.
Up next, the left-handed-hitting Viloria was glad to see a right-hander.
“Yeah, that was good for me,” Viloria said. “I have struggled a little bit against lefties. I saw the righty, that’s a moment for me. I was just looking for a fastball and to get it to the outfield. Finally, I did it. And we win the game.”
Duffy, who had been recovering from a strained left hamstring, gave Yost some welcome length from a starter, after a rough week for the Royals that included two games in which position players had to mop up on the mound.
“My command was off early,” Duffy said. “I felt really good after we were able to repeat our delivery and get my foot down. It was really good. I thought I threw the ball really well today.
“I went into it prepared. Viloria called a great game. Being able to follow him and follow the game plan, I just went with whatever [he put down]. I didn’t really expect anything. I just expected to go out there, do my best and leave it all out there pitch by pitch.”
Duffy gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits while walking one. He recorded 65 strikes in 90 pitches, with three strikeouts.
“I thought he threw the ball well,” Yost said. “The Orioles scraped together two runs in the third inning on four consecutive hits, some squibblers, but hits are hits. I’ll take squibblers any day. But he made a big pitch to get the double play [vs. Renato Nunez] and limit the damage right there and give us an opportunity. Again, kind of the same thing in the sixth when he gave up a run on the single, stolen base, error and another squibbler. He gave us some depth. He got us through six and into the seventh.”
Shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, also just back after a six-week stint on the injured list with a left shoulder issue, matched a career high with four hits. He also had three stolen bases. He is under orders to slide feet first and to not dive for any balls in the outfield, a command he obeyed on Sunday.
“I feel good, and I’m just trying to be smarter out there,” Mondesi said. “[Feet first] every time. “It was really fun. Like I say every time, just stay focused and finish hard in this last month. I’ve been thinking about getting back and playing a lot, but it was a process. Everything went OK, so I’m here and I just keep playing hard.”