Duffy leads Royals in thumping of White Sox
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Danny Duffy was at his best on Saturday, limiting the White Sox to just five hits over seven scoreless innings as the Kansas City Royals took down Chicago, 9-1, in the middle test of a three-game set.
Duffy (4-5) won his second straight decision for the first time this season, matching a career-high with nine strikeouts in the process. The lefty hadn't fanned nine since the seventh start of his major league career back on June 19, 2011. He went just 3 2/3 innings in that game, a loss to the Cardinals.
"The important thing he was doing in the first part of the game was he was getting ahead of the count and pitching off of that," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Duffy. "He just did a great job."
Mike Moustakas went 3-for-4 with a home run for the Royals, who have won a season-high six games in a row, matching last season's best win streak. Billy Butler also went yard and Alcides Escobar had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.
Chicago starter Hector Noesi (2-5) was roughed up for five runs -- two earned -- on eight hits and a walk over 3 2/3 frames in the setback.
The game remained scoreless until the top of the fourth, when Kansas City broke through with a big inning. Butler walked to start the stanza and Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez singled to load the bases with no outs. Noesi then induced a sharp grounder from Lorenzo Cain, which squirted past third baseman Leury Garcia into left field, allowing two runs to score.
Another fielding mistake, this time by left fielder Dayan Viciedo, led to a third run. Moustakas popped up to short left, but Viciedo mistimed his run to the ball, allowing it to drop for an RBI single.
Escobar then reloaded the bases with a single to left past a diving Garcia and Nori Aoki plated the fourth run of the inning, grounding into 6-4-3 double play. Omar Infante capped the flurry with an RBI base knock to left, scoring Moustakas for a 5-0 lead.
"If we're not helping (Noesi) on defense it makes a difference," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of the fourth. "It just kept snowballing to where you couldn't get out of that inning."
Moustakas' solo homer in the eighth inning added to the cushion, and three more runs in the ninth put the game firmly out of reach. Eric Hosmer's RBI double made it 7-0 before Butler crushed a Daniel Webb offering over the wall in right.
Chicago broke up the shutout in the bottom of the ninth inning, when Paul Konerko sent a solo home run out to left-center off Michael Mariot. Konerko finished with three of Chicago's seven hits.
The Royals have won nine of 10 at U.S. Cellular Field ... Kansas City had 16 hits ... Escobar left Friday's game with a cramp in his left calf and was considered day-to-day before taking the field on Saturday ... The White Sox have lost three in a row.
06/14 20:34:52 ET