KANSAS CITY -- One mistake is all it takes these days for a Royals pitcher to take an "L."
The Royals, who have the Major League's worst offense, dropped a 1-0 decision to the Indians on Sunday and now have been shut out four times this season. The Royals have scored just 82 runs in 30 games (2.7 per game).
Left-hander Danny Duffy turned in a superb start, going 6 2/3 innings while giving up six hits and one run.
That one run came in the fifth inning when Yan Gomes doubled to left and Carlos Santana floated a soft liner just past Duffy into center field, scoring Gomes.
Game, set, match. The Royals not only didn't score, they managed just one hit.
"I have to make that play," Duffy said. "I thought it was hit harder than it was. I have to make that play and be an athlete out there."
Statcast™ estimated Santana's hit went just 76 mph.
"That liner up the middle is going to haunt me for a couple of days," Duffy said.
Duffy actually did a fine job of escaping trouble in the first. After a leadoff double by Santana and a sacrifice bunt, Duffy got Michael Brantley to ground out to third. After a walk, Duffy got Jose Ramirez to fly out.
"I shouldn't have been in that situation anyway," Duffy said. "But I was happy we made pitches to get out of that."
Still, the pressure on Royals pitchers now is immense because of a dormant offense.
"All I'm focusing on is the next pitch," Duffy said. "People go through their struggles all the time. I've had my fair share of mine. I don't focus on what's going on from the other side of the ball.
"If I don't lay a fastball down the middle to Yan Gomes and let him plaster it to left field, we're still playing. I've got to be better.
"I strive not to give up a run every start whether we score two runs or 20 runs. I don't pitch to the linescore. I'm pitching to not give up any runs every time out."
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.