Royals Escape Ninth, Beat Twins 6-5
The Kansas City Royals now have a 1.5 game lead over the Detroit Tigers for the American League Central, and if the season ended today, which it doesn't, Detroit wouldn't even be in the playoffs.
In the first inning, Danny Duffy looked to be as sharp as a tack. In the third, it would appear just the opposite. After back-to-back singles, the defense fell to pieces. On a sacrifice bunt by Danny Santana, Danny Duffy fielded the ball, only to throw it into right field where Nori Aoki would be backing up.... For him to make an errant throw to left field. Two runs would score in the inning, and with the lack of run support the Royals have provided Duffy this season, it seemed like it just wasn't going to happen.
If it hadn't been for a five-run fourth inning, Kansas City would have been doomed. With the bases loaded, and none other than Josh Willingham at the dish, he would rope a double to left field to score Salvador Perez, Billy Butler, and Alex Gordon. Then, with Willingham and Mike Moustakas aboard, Alcides Escobar tripled on a fielding miscue by Danny Santana. That would be it in the fourth inning for the Royals.
Danny Duffy left the game after 5.1, and only 79 pitches thrown. Duffy allowed two earned runs, but only struck out one batter. It was evident that Ned Yost is trying to save his young lefty's arm for a playoff run in October, and for good reason: Danny Duffy has never pitched into October. The only drawback to pulling the young starters (Yordano Ventura included) is that it leaves the bullpen tired and rundown by the time October gets here.
The rest of the night would belong to Herrera, Davis, and Holland. Herrera was nails tonight, but Davis and Holland were a bit shaky. Davis allowed a double to Joe Mauer, but that would be it. Greg Holland on the other hand would allow two runs on an Oswaldo Arcia RBI-double, and a groundout by Chris Parmalee.
The Royals escaped with the narrow win, and now hold a 1.5 game lead over Detroit for the AL Central lead. Yordano Ventura will throw for Kansas City tomorrow against Phil Hughes. Every game from here on out that the Royals play is huge. This is just a friendly reminder that Ned Yost was fired in the middle of a pennant chase in Milwaukee because he wasn't the right man for the job.