KANSAS CITY— Left-hander Danny Duffy worked six scoreless innings and Alex Rios and Alcides Escobar delivered early run-scoring hits as the Royals won their sixth in a row with a 3-0 victory over the Blue Jays on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Duffy allowed four hits and three walks, but worked around trouble in the second and fourth innings. Toronto put the first two on in the fourth, but Duffy retired the next three. Rios had a run-scoring double in the second inning and Escobar added a two-out RBI single in the fourth. Eric Hosmer went 4-for-4 for Kansas City and Salvador Perez added a solo homer in the eighth.
“[Duffy] maneuvered through a real tough lineup,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He had stretches where he’d get his pitch count up a little bit, fell behind on hitters, but always pitched his way out of it or made big pitches when he needed to to finish the at-bat off.”
Toronto right-hander Marco Estrada kept his club in the game by working 6 2/3 efficient innings, allowing just two runs. Estrada surrendered nine hits, but was able to limit the damage. Toronto -- the highest-scoring team in the Major Leagues -- has been shut out in 24 consecutive innings.
The Royals are a season-high 18 games over .500 at 51-33, while the Blue Jays dropped under .500 at 44-45.
“They’re their old lively self, it’s just a lot of confidence right now that when we step on that field, we feel like we’re going to win a baseball game,” Yost said.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons saw his team pressure Duffy in the early innings. But Toronto couldn’t break through and the Royals’ bullpen shut the door over the final three innings.
“You could say [Duffy] was effectively wild,” Gibbons said. “He’s got a good arm. He clutched up and made a big pitch here or there when he needed it. He’s a great competitor.”