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CLE@KC: Duffy fans seven over seven shutout frames

Left-hander Danny Duffy just seems to get better with every start. The Royals left-hander, who will take the mound Wednesday night against the Twins, has an 0.92 ERA over his last three starts, but he's just 0-2 in that span.

The problem: He's getting just 2.47 runs of support per nine innings, lowest in the Majors among pitchers with 90 or more innings.

Duffy, though, ignores that as he concentrates on his rapid improvement in his first full season returning from Tommy John surgery. His secret?

"Just experience and trying to keep it simple," he said. "In the past in my career, I've over-thought things a lot and tried to do more than I've been capable of. I know that my stuff plays so I'm just going to go out there and execute the best way I can."

This is the time of year when games mean a lot, especially with the Royals eying their first postseason berth since 1985.

"As the season gets closer to October, we all know in here that every game counts," Duffy said. "It has since the beginning of the season but you feel it a lot more going forward this part of the year."

Twins righty Phil Hughes will get the nod against Duffy, and he's making his first start since taking a ball off the right shin and leaving after just three-plus innings against the White Sox on Thursday.

Hughes was diagnosed with a shin contusion, but was cleared to make his start and threw a bullpen session on Sunday without the ailment causing any problems. He allowed two runs in the shortened start -- one of which crossed the plate after he left the game -- and was frustrated he was forced to leave after just 64 pitches.

"Overall, my stuff was pretty good and I thought I could've thrown a pretty good game," Hughes said. "Overall, I thought stuff-wise, it was a lot better than last time."

Royals: Hosmer back in the flow
First baseman Eric Hosmer is hoping to regain his hot hitting that he left behind because of a bruised right hand.

After not starting six of seven games, Hosmer was back in the lineup, hitting third in Tuesday night's series opener. Hosmer went 1-for-4 with an RBI single in the ninth inning and a pair of strikeouts.

After Hosmer was hit in the hand by Boston's Jon Lester on July 20, he extended his hitting streak to 16 games. That ended three days later when, after resting the hand, he started a game at Chicago but had to leave hitless after seven innings because the hand became too weak to grip the bat.

That was the longest hitting streak by a Royal since Salvador Perez hit safely in 17 straight games two seasons ago.

Twins: Arcia to rejoin Twins on Wednesday after birth of son
Oswaldo Arcia is expected to be back with the Twins on Wednesday, one day after his wife gave birth to their son, Oswell Daniel.

Arcia went back to Minneapolis to be with his wife, Karla, and spent the day with her and the new addition to their family Tuesday after she went into labor around 3 a.m.

"We aren't doing the paternity leave or anything so he'll be here tomorrow," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "He just wanted to spend the day with his wife and baby today and will fly here tomorrow."

Arcia, an outfielder, is hitting .221/.303/.385 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs in 54 games this season.

Worth noting
• Royals who have faced Phil Hughes most often are Billy Butler, 7-for-21, .333, with one home run, and Alex Gordon, 6-for-21, .286.

• The Twins avoided a season-worst mark of 11 games below .500 with a 2-0 win Tuesday against Kansas City. Minnesota is 6-4 facing the Royals this season, and the team has a record of .500 or better against every inter-divisional opponent. Comments