Danny Duffy struck out nine batters over seven scoreless innings and the Kansas City offense rattled off nine runs on 16 hits Saturday in a 9-1 victory against the host White Sox. It was the sixth consecutive win for the Royals, who are now 9-3 in June and just a game-and-a-half back of the Tigers for first place in the American League Central.
Duffy, a 25-year-old former top prospect, opened the 2014 season with a 4.75 career ERA and 1.57 career WHIP in 157 1/3 major league innings. He boasts a 2.83 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 54 frames this year.
The Royals will wrap up their three-game series in Chicago on Sunday afternoon and then head to Detroit for a massively-important four-game set.
Your box scores and recaps from Saturday:
Royals 9, White Sox 1
Cubs 4, Phillies 7
Blue Jays 2, Orioles 3
Indians 3, Red Sox 2
Rockies 5, Giants 4
Twins 9, Tigers 12
Rays 3, Astros 7
Padres 5, Mets 0
Pirates 8, Marlins 6
Reds 2, Brewers 4
Nationals 1, Cardinals 4
Angels 11, Braves 6
Yankees 1, Athletics 5
Rangers 4, Mariners 3
Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 6
Fox Sports Detroit has named Matt Shepard their new full-time play-by-play guy for Tigers games. Shepard will work with analysts Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson, who will split time.
This is the move in response to former longtime announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen getting suspended and later fired following an in-booth altercation in Chicago last September. The two of them, who weren’t exactly friends, reportedly fought over a chair, with conflicting reports of how serious the fight was. An anonymous witness said Allen put Impemba in a choke hold. Allen recently gave an interview in which he denied that and said it was only some pushing and shoving. Either way, it ended their 16-year team-up for Tigers games.
Shepard has worked for Fox Sports Detroit for nearly 20 years, doing fill-in play-by-play for the Tigers — he replaced Impemba for the last few weeks of last season — and for Detroit Pistons games. Gibson has been a part time analyst for the network for the past couple of seasons, splitting time with Allen. Morris has done Tigers, Blue Jays and Twins games over the years, sometimes even splitting time between the Twins and Tigers, which is rather unusual.
Shepard is pretty good at his job. While Tigers fans liked and were familiar with Impemba, there won’t be a falloff in quality. Gibson makes some good analytical points and has a surprisingly sharp and biting sense of humor about him, but his gruff and monotone delivery is not everyone’s cup of tea. You get used to it. Morris is not my cup of tea — he tends to do a lot of the “back in my day” stuff former players often do — but I’m pretty sure he could recite the dictionary on TV in Detroit and a lot of Tigers fans would tune in. Such is life.