Danny Duffy and Orioles starter Mike Wright had a good old fashioned pitcher’s duel going into the seventh inning. That wasn’t a good thing for the Royals, who have been looking for a spark to their offense. They scratched out an unearned run and finished the night with just five hits and lost for the fifth time in a row. The final was 4-1 in the opener at Baltimore.
Just five days ago, Wright was sent to the minors after giving up four home runs in less than three innings against Boston. He was recalled the next day when reliever Darren O’Day was placed on the disabled list and he got another chance to start. He took advantage of a scuffling offense. Royals manager Ned Yost says their offense went dark about as fast a switch.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Orioles broke through. Mark Trumbo led off with his 19th home run, Matt Wieters went deep with one out and Duffy was done. Adam Jones added an RBI double in that inning. Manny Machado homered off Kelvin Herrera in the eighth.
Unlike what the Red Sox did to Wright and what the Orioles did to Royals pitching, the issue for Kansas City has always been their inability to hit that long ball. The Royals need to scrap and claw their way to runs. In the long run, with good pitching, that type of hitting can work. (See 2014 and 2015). However, the starting pitchers for the Royals have had trouble keeping the ball in the park.
In the last four games, the Indians and now Orioles have hit ten homers off starters Duffy, Chris Young, Ian Kennedy and Edinson Volquez in the last 26 innings they’ve pitched since Friday.
When a team is giving up a lot of homers, it makes it difficult to string three-four or five hits together to score two or three runs. When opponents are able to build a lead with one or two swings, its tough to battle from behind.