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Danny Duffy loses no-hit bid in the eighth inning against the Rays

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Update #2 (9:28 PM EDT): The Royals added more run support for Duffy in the top of the eighth, tacking on two runs to make it a 3-0 game. But it wasn’t enough. Desmond Jennings doubled to lead off the bottom of the eighth to end Duffy’s no-hit bid. Duffy got through the inning with two more strikeouts, running his total up to 16 through eight frames and setting a Royals single-game record.

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Update (9:01 PM EDT): He’s through seven without allowing a hit. In the bottom of the seventh, he got Brad Miller to fly out, then struck out Evan Longoria and Steven Souza, Jr. He has 14 strikeouts and 97 pitches.

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Royals starter Danny Duffy has held the Rays hitless through six innings on Monday night at Tropicana Field. The lefty has walked one and struck out 12 batters on 84 pitches.

Duffy came into Monday night’s start with a 3.22 ERA and a 110/22 K/BB ratio in 100 2/3 innings.

DH Kendrys Morales broke a scoreless tie in the top of the seventh inning to give Duffy the lead, blasting a solo home run to center field off of Rays starter Chris Archer. Archer has otherwise been sharp, yielding the lone run on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts.

2016 has seen only one no-hitter, authored by Cubs ace Jake Arrieta on April 21 against the Reds. The last no-hitter thrown by a Royals hitter was Bret Saberhagen on August 26, 1991 against the White Sox. The Rays were last victims of a no-hitter on August 15, 2012, when Mariners ace Felix Hernandez tossed a perfect game.

We’ll keep you updated as Duffy attempts to navigate the final three innings without yielding a hit.

The Nationals have inquired about Kris Bryant

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The Washington Nationals, fresh off signing Stephen Strasburg to a $245 million deal, are now turning their attention to their third base hole. Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that they have made inquiries to the Chicago Cubs about trading for Kris Bryant.

Emphasis on the word “inquiry” because it’d be premature for the Cubs to trade Bryant at the moment, even if they are reported to be considering the possibility.

Bryant and the Cubs are awaiting word from an arbitrator about Bryant’s years-old service time grievance. If Bryant wins, he becomes a free agent after the 2020 season. If the Cubs win they control him for two more years. The team may or may not choose to trade him in either case as they are reportedly trying to cut payroll, but the price for him will vary pretty significantly depending on whether or not the acquiring club will receive one or two years of control over the former MVP.

For Washington, this would be a means of replacing free agent third baseman Anthony Rendon. Or, perhaps, the inquiries are a means of creating a tad more leverage for the Nats as they talk to Rendon’s agent about re-signing him.

Which, in the past, the Nats said they could not do if they also re-signed Strasburg, though I suspect that’s just posturing too. They may not want to spend big money to keep their World Series core together, but they can afford it. They’re going to see, I suspect, an eight-figure uptick in revenue by virtue of being the defending World Series champs. They are poised to receive a significant payout as a result of recent rulings in their own multi-year dispute with the Orioles and the MASN network. They are, of course, owned by billionaire real estate moguls. All of that taken together means that, if they choose to, they can bring back Rendon. Assuming he chooses to come back too.

But, if that doesn’t happen, they appear to be giving themselves options at the hot corner.