Duffy accomplishes much in spring debut

Lefty starter able to work on slide step, changeup Tuesday

Duffy accomplishes much in spring debut

PHOENIX -- Royals left-hander Danny Duffy never likes to come out of a game. Not even a Spring Training game.

That's the competitor in him.

But even Duffy had to laugh when manager Ned Yost came out of the dugout to pull Duffy moments after the pitcher allowed a long home run to Brewers shortstop Yadiel Rivera with two outs in the second inning Tuesday. The Royals came back to beat the Brewers 6-3.

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"My rule is," Yost said as he reached for the ball from Duffy, "if you give up a bomb, you're out."

Duffy on first start of spring

Duffy smiled as he walked back to the dugout. Truth is, Duffy already was at 38 pitches anyway, three more than he had been scheduled to throw.

Duffy went 1 2/3 innings, gave up three hits and two runs, with one walk and one strikeout.

"I felt great," Duffy said. "My mechanics were kind of a tick off. And it might be too early to throw in the side step, but I tried to anyway."

Duffy likely will have one more tune-up outing before he leaves March 9 to play for the United States in the World Baseball Classic.

"I just wanted to get my pitch count up today," Duffy said. "I wanted to build up. My side sessions have been really good so far. Normally they aren't this time of year. But I just want to continue to progress. I thought I threw pretty well today."

Duffy also worked on his changeup.

Outlook: Duffy, SP, KC

"I think I threw a lot of them today," Duffy said. "I kind of wish I'd have faced more lefties. I wanted to try the lefty-lefty changeup more."

Duffy gave up a leadoff triple to Keon Broxton, then got a strikeout and a popout before allowing a soft single up the middle to Domingo Santana.

"I was really pleased with that first inning," Duffy said. "I got the punchout and the popup and almost got out of it. Just gave up that single."

Duffy wasn't exactly sweating the home run to Rivera, either.

"I've probably given up 30 homers in Spring Training," Duffy said. "Last year I gave one up one on the first pitch of the spring to a lefty. You'll never ever hear me make one excuse for pitching down here, because we all pitch off the same mound.

"But you can't focus on paper results here. You can't."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.