Danny Duffy leaves Saturday's game after just one pitch.  (photo/MLB)

Danny Duffy leaves Saturday’s game after just one pitch. (photo/MLB)

Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy reacted after his first pitch of the game, a fastball to  New York Yankees leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury.

Catcher Salvador Perez joined manager Ned Yost and the trainer from the dugout.  There was a short meeting and then Duffy left the game and was replaced by Liam Hendriks.

Duffy has the third best ERA in the American League at 2.42 behind Chicago’s Chris Sale and Seattle’s Felix Hernandez. Duffy ranks sixth in the league with a 1.08 WHIP and is second to Hernandez with 6.50 hits allowed per nine innings.

The Royals could survive the playoffs with a four-man pitching staff, but losing a starter down the stretch could hurt their September push.  They entered play on Saturday with a two-game lead over Detroit.