Saturday’s baseball roundup: Royals lose game, starter Danny Duffy to injury

Jerry Beach
Associated Press

New York — Obtained by the Yankees from Arizona in separate July trades, Brandon McCarthy and Martin Prado are doing their best to keep alive New York’s slim playoff hopes.

McCarthy won for the second time in six starts and Prado had three hits as the Yankees feasted on Kansas City’s bullpen in a 6-2 victory Saturday after Royals starter Danny Duffy left because of an injury following his first pitch.

McCarthy, dealt on July 6, allowed two runs and six hits in 6.2 innings with four strikeouts and a walk. He is 6-4 with a 2.87 ERA for the Yankees after going 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA in 18 starts for the Diamondbacks.

“It’s nice just to contribute,” he said. “I spent the first half of the season being a hindrance on an organization, and that’s something that doesn’t sit well. So to come somewhere where there’s a playoff race going on, and you’re a positive influence on something that’s helping the team win, that’s really all you can ask for.”

Prado, acquired on July 31, played for the first time since straining his left hamstring Tuesday and had three hits, raising his average to .309 with the Yankees. He hit .270 with the Diamondbacks.

Prado’s 10th multihit effort in his last 16 games fueled a rare offensive outburst by the weak-hitting Yankees, who scored as many as six runs for the first time since Aug. 29. A night earlier, a 1-0 loss in the series opener dropped them 4.5 games back for the AL’s second wild card.

“Hitting is contagious, I believe,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It just picks your club up It’s uplifting. The last 20 games, he’s been unbelievable.”

The Yankees scored all their runs in the first five innings off Liam Hendriks and Casey Coleman, called on because of Duffy’s sore left shoulder.

Prado doubled off Hendriks (1-1) with two outs in the first and gave his hamstring a test when he came around on Mark Teixeira’s single.

“I was like, please, just let me get to home plate,’” Prado said.

Prado said he is playing at less than 100 percent but wants to be in the lineup as the Yankees try to avoid missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1992 and ’93.

“I’m trying to be smart,” Prado said. “I want to be in there for my teammates.”

After Alex Gordon’s RBI bloop single tied the score in the third, the Yankees went ahead for good in the bottom half on Jacoby Ellsbury’s run-scoring triple and Derek Jeter’s sacrifice fly.

Chase Headley make it 4-1 in the fourth when he scored from third after Perez overthrew third base for an error on a pickoff attempt. Carlos Beltran doubled in a run in the fifth and scored on a single by pinch-hitter Ichiro Suzuki.

Mike Moustakas had a sacrifice fly in the seventh, ending McCarthy’s day, but Shawn Kelley, Dellin Betances and David Robertson combined for hitless relief. New York relievers have thrown 11 innings of scoreless, three-hit relief in their last four games with 14 strikeouts and no walks.

“Just a good team game,” McCarthy said.

Kansas City (78-62) remained two games ahead of Detroit in the AL Central, but the Royals were far more concerned with the state of Duffy’s left shoulder. Duffy, who returned in August 2013 following elbow ligament-replacement surgery, entered the day with a 2.44 ERA, third-best in the AL.

“We will send him home tomorrow and get an MRI to see what we are dealing with,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Kansas City scored four runs or fewer for the eighth straight game — including a suspended game against Cleveland on Aug. 31 that will resume on Sept. 22. But the Royals are 4-3 in that span thanks to their pitching.

“We will get a hit here and there, but not really consistent all-around,” Gordon said. “We just need to get more consistent and have some big innings.”

In other Yankees news, Masahiro Tanaka threw a 34-pitch bullpen session in the first mound action since Aug. 28.

In other Royals news, Greg Holland missed his second straight game due to a tight right triceps.

Darvish out for year

Yu Darvish’s season is over.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the 28-year-old left-hander won’t pitch again this year. The three-time All-Star has not appeared in a game since Aug. 9 due to elbow inflammation.

Texas began Saturday a major league-worst 53-88 and sees little reason to rush back the pitcher.

“That would be silly on our part,” Daniels said. “There’s just not much to be gained from it at this point.”

Daniels said Darvish has made some progress recently and no longer feels pain, but he hasn’t been cleared by team physician Dr. Keith Meister to resume throwing. Daniels said there is no tear or sprain.

Darvish said he has accepted the club’s decision, though he’s disappointed.

“I think we’ve all made the right decision in shutting it down,” he said through a translator. “Even if I wanted, the medical staff are experts in what they do, so I have to go by what they say. I’m glad that we were able to detect this at the early stage.”

Nationals change closer

With three weeks to go in the regular season, the National League East-leading Washington Nationals are facing uncertainty at the closer’s position. Manager Matt Williams said Saturday he will use a closer-by-committee approach while struggling Rafael Soriano seeks to correct the flaws in his delivery.

Soriano blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning Friday night, allowing two homers in Washington’s 9-8 loss to Philadelphia.

The right-hander has a 6.98 ERA since the All-Star break and has given up at least one run in seven of his past 12 outings.

“His fastball velocity is good, the command isn’t quite where he wants it, certainly,” Williams said. “The slider, the depth of his breaking pitch, is not there right now.”

Around the horn

Dodgers center fielder Yasiel Puig was scratched from the lineup because of a stomach ailment. Manager Don Mattingly said Puig told trainer Stan Conte that he wasn’t feeling well after bunting drills. Mattingly says Puig was scheduled for an IV.

... Originally out of the Brewers’ starting lineup because of an ailing right thumb, Ryan Braun took batting practice and was inserted against the Cardinals on Saturday.