KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Subtract one pitch and Danny Duffy had a whale of a night for the Kansas City Royals.
That pitch was a fastball Ryan Raburn blistered for a two-run home run in Detroit's 3-1 victory Thursday night. And while Duffy got sent back down to Triple-A Omaha immediately afterward, it was not because the Royals are one bit disappointed in the progress their rookie left-hander keeps showing.
Rest assured he'll be right back in the big leagues.
``All-Star Game,' said manager Ned Yost. ``He'll go to Omaha, pitch on the 14th and be back here. He'll pitch here on the 19th and get right back in the rotation. He threw the ball great tonight.'
In his 10th major league start, Duffy (1-4) went six innings and allowed only four hits and two runs. He walked one and struck out six in what was, all things considered, probably his best outing yet.
``He Really did a nice job,' said Yost. ``The one pitch that Raburn hit out was actually a pretty good pitch, a fastball down and in right on the corner. He did a nice job of hitting.'
Duffy, counted on to be a cornerstone of the Royals' rotation of the future, began the third inning by walking Miguel Cabrera. With two out, Raburn hit a 1-2 pitch 393 feet over the fence in left. With four Detroit pitchers shutting down KC on one run and eight hits, that was all Max Scherzer needed.
``It was down, but he went and got it,' said the 22-year-old Duffy. ``It just must have been the exact coordinates on the map that he was thinking it was going to be at that point in time. I wasn't finding the zone very well in that inning. It was just a tough inning. It's a shame it happened the way it did.'
Scherzer (10-4) scattered four hits over the first six innings before a pair of singles put runners on first and second with two outs in the seventh. Phil Coke sprinted in from the bullpen to protect a 2-1 lead and promptly retired Mike Moustakas on a fly ball to center field to end the threat.
Rookie Aaron Crow had a second straight tough outing for the Royals. Since he was named to the All-Star team on Sunday, life has not been kind to Crow. On Monday in Chicago, he lost the lead on a home run by Adam Dunn and then balked home the winning run in the ninth. Against the Tigers on Thursday, he gave up a home run to Don Kelly, walked Jhonny Peralta and made a wild throw to first.
``He threw a fastball down the middle to Kelly and he hit it out of the park,' said Yost. ``He faced the meat of their lineup and got the rest of them out. He threw the ball pretty good.'
Moustakas, another of KC's prized rookies, went 0 for 4 but did drive in Eric Hosmer with an infield out. He was 0 for 11 against the White Sox the three previous games.
``I've been putting some good at_bats together lately. I'm just not getting the results I want right now,' said the rookie third baseman. ``The time's going to come when these fly balls will start turning themselves into line drives and then home runs, hopefully, and the RBIs will start coming.'
Hosmer reached ahead of Moustakas with a double down the left-field line and advanced to third on Jeff Francoeur's fly ball to the warning track.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland likes what he sees in Duffy.
``He's got all the equipment, it's just a matter of getting experience up here,' Leyland said. ``I give that kid credit. (Pitching coach) Bob McClure made a nice adjustment. He was kind of throwing hard to start with but maybe not with the best control. Then he started to use his changeup and breaking ball more and got in a good slot. He's a really good-looking pitcher. All that kid needs is experience. He's going to be a good one.'
Notes: Royals C Jason Kendall has re-torn the rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder. The 37-year-old will have surgery next week in Los Angeles that will sideline him at least through 2012. Manager Ned Yost did not say whether he expects Kendall to retire. ... Detroit DH Victor Martinez was second in the AL All-Star final vote standings behind Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox. Gordon was third. ... Tigers OF Austin Jackson left the game after his first at-bat with a sore left wrist. Leyland said he may not play the rest of the four-game series. ... The Royals plan to recall Everett Teaford in time for Friday night's game.
The Associated Press News Service
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