Duffy grinds, but laments tough luck in KC loss

Duffy grinds, but laments tough luck in KC loss

BALTIMORE -- Royals left-hander Danny Duffy saw the irony right away. Early on, the Orioles were hitting him hard, but couldn't score Monday at Camden Yards.

Then, by the fourth inning, Duffy said he felt like he was locked in. But with two outs in the fifth, Duffy threw a changeup that tied up Manny Machado, who somehow muscled the ball down the right-field line for a double. Moments later, Jonathan Schoop blooped a changeup to center for a hit and the only run off Duffy.

The Royals eventually dropped the series opener to Baltimore, 2-1.

"He still went down and got it," Duffy said of the changeup to Schoop. "But it was meant to bounce. I wasn't super upset about the pitch.

"It's just ironic that was what scored the run. Because they scalded a couple baseballs that were caught early on."

Royals manager Ned Yost said Duffy had no reason to hang his head.

"The one run they got off Duffy were after two great pitches," Yost said. "I told Duff, 'You got to take your hat off to them.'"

Duffy worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the second, and was saved by a great catch at the wall by center fielder Lorenzo Cain.

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The Orioles had runners in every inning through five.

"I just grinded through that outing," Duffy said. "I felt like I had really good stuff. But I didn't pitch very well. I was bailed out by my defense a few times, and I made some good pitches when I had to.

"But that was probably the least impressive seven-inning, one-run outing I've ever had."

Duffy left after seven innings, having walked one while striking out six. But he did retire the last seven hitters he faced.

"I locked it in after the fourth," Duffy said. "I started feeling my legs back under me."

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.