Kansas City, Mo. — Danny Duffy is still looking for his first big league victory after four starts.
Duffy gave up three runs on seven hits, including a homer to Michael Cuddyer, and three walks while laboring through five innings in the Kansas City Royals’ 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins Friday night.
Duffy, a 22-year-old left-hander who was promoted to the big leagues May 18, was pulled after 96 pitches, 54 for strikes.
“The first three innings he was really overthrowing,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He was working hard. He got his pitch count way up. He kind of settled in, in the fourth and the fifth. He got into a better rhythm and wasn’t throwing as hard and started banging more strikes. That’s all lessons that young pitchers learn, how to control their emotions and their effort. They have to throw 94-95 percent instead of 105.”
Duffy (0-1) has a 4.33 ERA with 13 walks and 17 strikeouts in 201⁄3 innings.
“It’s going to take him 15-20 starts before he starts to get comfortable, sometimes maybe sooner, maybe 10 starts for him,” Yost said. “His stuff is really, really good. But at times he gets a little over-amped. That’s what he was doing in the first three innings.”
Duffy acknowledged he has a huge adrenaline rush when the game begins and is working on not throwing every pitch at maximum effort.
“I’d love to be able to do that, and we’re working on it,” Duffy said. “We’re getting there. I’m way too excited to start the game. I’m too amped up. However long it takes me to get through 90 pitches (then) I lose my legs a little bit. I just need to learn how to save that. I felt like I was making pretty good pitches, but they were just off the black.”
Carl Pavano earned his 100th career victory in going the distance. Pavano (3-5), who was 0-3 with a 5.28 ERA in six May starts, won for the first time since April 24. He held the Royals to two runs and nine hits in his first complete game since Sept. 10, 2010, after throwing seven complete games last year. He threw 83 strikes in 112 pitches.
In his 13th season, Pavano is 100-94 in 270 games — 252 starts for five teams.
Cuddyer homered off Royals rookie left-hander Danny Duffy in the third. It was Cuddyer’s 18th career home run against the Royals.
Note: The Royals placed RHP Sean O’Sullivan, who was 0-3 with a 13.25 ERA in his past four starts, on the 15-day disabled list Friday with biceps tendinitis. The Royals recalled RHP Jesse Chavez from Triple-A Omaha, where he was 2-3 with five saves and a 4.94 ERA in 19 games. Chavez will go to the bullpen, while the Royals have not yet announced who will replace O’Sullivan in the rotation.