A week ago, the Royals’ bullpen blowup reached its most perplexing stage. After a loss at Minnesota, the group’s ERA had ballooned to 5.13. This from a pen considered by some to be baseball’s best last year. A week later, order has been restored. Three relievers delivered four scoreless innings Saturday, a perfect performance after Danny Duffy issued a leadoff walk in the sixth. Duffy, Wade Davis and Greg Holland paved the way for the Royals’ 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium. “It’s a lot of fun,” Duffy said. “The name of the game is to get the ball to Wade and Greg. It’s nice to come in with the opportunity to bridge the gap.” Duffy did just that in two innings, with Davis and Holland assuming their usual eighth- and ninth-inning roles. This week it hasn’t mattered which pitcher manager Ned Yost summons from the pen; the result has been success. Saturday’s effort pushed the bullpen’s scoreless-innings streak to 14, and the cast has combined for 21 strikeouts in a stretch that has produced five straight Royals victories for the first time since last August. “I wouldn’t say we struggled early, but by our standards, we weren’t as good as we can be,” said Holland, who struck out two in collecting his sixth save. The pen assured that starter Bruce Chen would get his first victory of the season after he tossed five innings and had to deal of a couple of bases-loaded jams, some of it of his own doing with walks. But Chen managed to limit the damage. The Twins got only one run after loading the bases with nobody out in the third. The week against the Houston Astros and Twins also seems to have fixed issues with power outages and timely hitting that had slowed the Royals early. On Saturday, they bunched them in the fourth inning, after battling some early frustration against Twins starter Kevin Correia.
Royals win fifth straight with 5-4 victory over Twins
Kansas City Star | Apr 20