Angels, Royals welcoming pitchers back to rotation

Field Level Media

After a needed day off, the Kansas City Royals return home for the start of a three-game series on Friday against the Los Angeles Angels. In the process, they'll welcome back an old friend.

Left-hander Danny Duffy will make his first start of the season after beginning the season on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder impingement syndrome. He had one appearance at Double-A Northwest Arkansas (5 1/3 innings, four hits, one unearned run and seven strikeouts). It was enough, according to Duffy.

"The line was fine," Duffy told "I was effectively wild. My stuff got me through. That's the story of my career. I would really have liked to have hung in there a little longer.

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"I'm doing some different stuff with my delivery, and I don't want to allude to them right now but it's starting to feel more comfortable. I was hitting 95. I never thought I'd see that again. (The) ball is coming out really freely. I'm excited to throw and be back in the big leagues. It feels like it has been a long time since I've been up here with the boys."

The Royals are tied for the worst record in baseball with Miami at 8-17, and they are coming off a road trip that saw them go 3-7 against the White Sox, Yankees and Rays.

The Royals hadn't had a day off since April 5 in Detroit. They hadn't had a day off at home since March 29, the day after the season opener.

The Royals ended a five-game losing streak with a 10-2 victory in Tampa Bay on Wednesday, the first time all season that they scored at least 10 runs. They got home runs from Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesi. Every hitter in the starting lineup had a hit or scored a run, or both.

"To go home with a nice win under our belts, with an off-day tomorrow, after playing 19 straight, it's a good win," Royals manager Ned Yost said after the game. "I was pleased we continued to tack on. Small ball worked good for us. We had guys running all over the place. Mondi just crushed his homer. It was a good day for us offensively."

The Angels have their own struggles. They are last in the American League West at 10-16, the second-worst record in the American League (tied with Baltimore, 1 1/2 games better than the Royals) even with an 11-5 win over the Yankees on Thursday.

The Angels are in the bottom half of both team batting and team pitching.

Los Angeles will also be getting a starting pitcher back from the injured list.

Left-hander Tyler Skaggs, who has been out since April 12 with a sprained left ankle, will return to the rotation Friday. Skaggs threw two bullpen sessions of more than 40 pitches after sustaining the injury and was cleared to return. Skaggs is 1-2 with a 4.20 ERA in three starts.

In three career starts against the Royals, all in Kansas City, Skaggs is 1-1 with an ERA of 0.43 (one earned run in 21 innings). He has allowed 14 hits and five walks while striking out 22.

Second baseman Luis Rengifo, the Angels' No. 7 prospect (MLB Pipeline), was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday to make his MLB debut. He played second, with Tommy La Stella moving to third to replace third baseman Zack Cozart, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with a neck strain he sustained on Monday.

Rengifo got his first hit in the bottom of the fifth inning. He later scored on a home run by Kole Calhoun.

"I started playing baseball when I was 3 years old, and I can tell you I've dedicated just about all my life to this game," Rengifo told through an interpreter. "I feel like, for me, baseball is a passion. It's a love. My dad was always such a big fan of the game. This was always the dream. From the moment I signed when I was 16 years old, my goal was to get to the big leagues. Thank God, today that opportunity arrived."

--Field Level Media

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