A cloud of despair hung over the Kansas City Royals' clubhouse after a 9-1 victory Sunday over the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
LHP Danny Duffy departed after three batters, retiring two, with what manager Ned Yost said was tightness in his left elbow. Duffy was to return Sunday night to Kansas City to have an MRI Monday and be checked out by team physicians.
Duffy, a 23-year-old with the potential to be a front-line starter, threw just 13 pitches, eight for strikes, before being replaced by RHP Luis Mendoza. Duffy threw three fastballs, two at 96 mph and one at 95, an 85 mph changeup and his last pitch was a 77 mph curveball that Adam Dunn flied out to CF Jarrod Dyson.
Out came the trainers, out went Duffy and in came Mendoza, who picked up the victory.
"We'll check it out," Duffy said. "You can't worry about things like this until you know what it is. I've got to put it in God's hands. I'm excited to know what it is."
More important than the victory is the seriousness of Duffy's injury. After an April 22 start, Duffy missed a start and was shut down for 11 days with tightness in his elbow.
"I felt it on the second pitch of the game," Duffy said Sunday. "I haven't felt it in the last couple of starts. I didn't feel it in the bullpen. We'll have to see what it is."