Denver Danny Duffy felt he pitched well. He just made a couple of mistakes.
The Colorado Rockies made him pay for them.
Troy Tulowitzki and Mark Ellis had two-run homers, and Juan Nicasio allowed three singles over eight innings as the Rockies beat the slumping Kansas City Royals, 9-0, on Friday night.
The Royals have lost four straight and 10 of their last 12 to fall 16 games under .500.
“These things go in cycles. This is a club that can hit. We’ve got guys that can swing the bat, but right now it’s a struggle for us,” manager Ned Yost said. “We’ve got to grind it out. You’ve got to keep, every day, staying after it until we turn it around. When that day comes, I don’t know, but it will come. You wish it would have come three days ago.”
The Royals had little chance against Nicasio (3-1), who struck out four and got the Royals to hit into 16 groundouts. Nicasio allowed only five base-runners and none got past first base against him. Only one Kansas City runner reached as far as second base, and that wasn’t until two outs in the ninth against reliever Edgmer Escalona.
“He’s got a pretty good fastball, pretty firm. He didn’t really have to throw much more to us, we just weren’t hitting them,” second baseman Chris Getz said. “We were even having decent counts, but we were fouling them off late on his fastball. It wasn’t a good night offensively.”
Duffy (1-3) couldn’t break the Royals out of their funk. He lasted five innings, allowing five runs and nine hits. He struck out six.
The lefty had trouble locating his fastball, leaving pitches up to Ellis and Tulowitzki.
Tulowitzki hit a towering two-run shot to right in the third to break open a 1-0 game. It was his 16th homer of the season, which is tops among all major-league shortstops.
Ellis followed with a homer in the fifth, a liner to left that just crept over the wall.
“I really thought I threw the ball well, I just made a couple of mistakes, and these guys capitalized on it,” Duffy said. “I can’t believe I threw a BP fastball to Troy Tulowitzki. He tatered it. I didn’t set my teammates up for an opportunity to win.”
It was simply that kind of game for Ellis. He finished 3-for-5 with a double, homer and three RBIs.
The Rockies acquired Ellis, along with cash, from Oakland on Thursday for a minor-league pitcher and a player to be named later.
While Kansas City struggled at the plate the Rockies flourished. They pounded out 13 hits against three Royals pitchers. Nate Adcock was tagged for three runs, two hits and two walks in just two innings, and Joakim Soria served up an eighth-inning leadoff homer to Charlie Blackmon — his first in the majors — on his 25th birthday to make it 9-0.
“We didn’t get much going on either side of the ball,” Yost said. “Not much good happened tonight. Duff was struggling with command. The pitches they hit for homers were all elevated pitches. We just couldn’t get anything going offensively.”
Notes: Alex Gordon went 1-for-4 and has hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games. He’s hitting .343 over that span. ... Duffy’s nine hits allowed tied a season high.