Potent quotables: Playoff chase edition

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“You can skew that any way you want. We’ve got a good pitching staff and
they (hitters) seem to lock in on us. When we do leave a pitch up, they
lick their chops. They go at it like a rabid dog.”

– Brandon Inge explains how the Twins cut the Tigers lead in the American League Central to just three games on Friday night.

“No one likes to give in. We have a
situation where some people start counting people out. Every time it
seems like we get back in it, we fall back away and we get back in it.
When you’re this close in the pennant race, whichever team gets hot
wins it.”

– Jeremy Affeldt says the Giants aren’t quite done. After Friday’s 8-4 win over the Dodgers, the Giants sit 2 1/2 games behind the Rockies in the Wild Card race.

“We’re not winning ballgames, and it’s not a lot of fun right now. It just gets to the
point where there’s no use in moping around the clubhouse or getting
overly angry. It’s getting to us a little bit, but that’s where we need to rebound and find that character we’ve had all year.”

– David Murphy thinks losing isn’t much fun.
The Rangers have dropped five in a row and find themselves 7 1/2 games
behind the first-place Angels and seven games behind the Red Sox for
the Wild Card. The Rangers haven’t scored a run in 23 innings.

“In this ballpark, you always feel like you’ve got a chance. This was a good win. And, we did it
against one of the best closers in baseball. That doesn’t happen very

– Fredi Gonzalez reacts to a stunning four-run ninth-inning rally
against Francisco Cordero and the Reds on Friday night. The win moved
the Marlins to within four games of the Rockies in the Wild Card race.

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
AP Images
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Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.

The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.