ORIOLES (45-90) AT ROYALS (48-89)
2:15 p.m. ET; FSKC, MASN, MLB.TV
The hardest thing for a highly competitive athlete — and if you’re a major league baseball player you are a highly competitive athlete — is to watch your teammates perform when you’re not able to join in.
Kansas City Royals (-1.5) lefty Danny Duffy will return from baseball purgatory, also known as the 10-day injured list, in time to start Sunday’s home game against the Baltimore Orioles (+1.5). Duffy has been on the IL since Aug. 6 (retroactive to Aug. 4) with a left hamstring strain.
He’s anxious to join his mates in trying to finish the season strong.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he told reporters prior to Friday’s game. “I feel good. I feel ready to go. It’s been almost a month. I’m tired of sitting around. I’m excited about getting in there and trying to do my part in helping us win baseball games.”
Duffy originally was expected to miss only one or two starts at the most. But the pain lingered, especially when he ran. With the Royals nowhere near contention in 2019, caution was the rule to live by. But after airing it out in his last start Aug. 25 with Double-A Northwest Arkansas, he’s convinced he’s ready.
“I needed to make sure I was healthy,” he said. “That was a test, and I passed. I’m looking forward to sharpening a little bit more and getting that pitch count a little bit higher.”
Duffy (5-6, 4.93 ERA) will be coming off his second stint on the IL this season, after starting the year sidelined with left shoulder impingement syndrome. His last start came on Aug. 3 in Minnesota, where he took the loss after yielding a season-high nine runs (eight earned) in 4 2/3 innings, including four homers.
“I want to obviously preface it, I was just brutal in my last start,” Duffy said at the time of the injury. “This had nothing to do with my last start. I was really looking forward to getting back out there. I know what I’ve got to do to get outs. I was looking forward to showing that.”
Duffy won his last start against the Orioles, 15-7, on May 8, 2018 in Baltimore. He’s 3-2 with a 2.17 ERA lifetime vs. Baltimore, his lowest ERA vs. any opponent (minimum three starts) in his career.
Sunday’s match will determine the series winner, as Kansas City scored two unearned runs in the eighth to take a 7-5 victory Saturday.
The Orioles will send right-hander Aaron Brooks (4-7, 5.79) to the hill. Brooks defeated the Royals Aug. 21 in his only appearance against the Royals in his career. He allowed one earned run on seven hits in five innings in the Orioles’ 8-1 victory. He walked one and struck out four.
He’s won two straight starts after losing four straight. He was claimed on waivers from Oakland July 13 and immediately joined the rotation. He threw six scoreless innings in his last start in Washington, matching his season high.
“It was about changing speeds and eye levels,” Brooks said after his outing in Washington. “Timing is everything. I just try to disrupt the timing and fill the zone as much as I can.”
–Field Level Media