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HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

Monarchs, Cardinals seek first win -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals drop game at Cleveland -9/25/2014, 10:26 AM

UTEP football coach Sean Kugler hopes to build a program that can emulate Kansas State -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Indians hit the road -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants, Redskins trying to avoid steeper climb in East -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

KVA prep volleybal rankings, Sept. 24 -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS soccer falls at Great Bend -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS takes third at Salina South Invitational -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

No. 8 Washburn too much for Tigers -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

Tiger defense continues to get stronger -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Two wins for TMP volleyball -9/24/2014, 10:27 AM

TMP soccer rolls to win -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Ventura dominates Indians as Royals push for postseason -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

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Royals fall 1-0 to Mariners

Published on -5/9/2014, 10:09 AM

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By Andy Mccullough

McClatchy-Tribune

The few feet of space surrounding Seattle catcher Mike Zunino on Thursday night must have felt like a wind tunnel, an energy source powered by the fruitless hacks of the Royals in a 1-0 loss.

A day after manager Ned Yost ventured his club was "starting to get our stride" on offense, they looked enfeebled at the hands of Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma. For eight tidy innings, a simple pattern emerged. Iwakuma pumped strikes. The Royals swung. Outs occurred.

Mistakes, the sort of pitches upon which the Royals (16-18) could inflict damage, "weren't there to be found," Yost said.

Instead, his team fell on a night when Danny Duffy authored six quality innings, the offense brought little to the table and Yost himself committed a pair of questionable tactical decisions.

The first call from the bench, an intentional walk in the third inning, led to Seattle's only run. The second maneuver, a sacrifice bunt in the ninth inning, issued a lifeline to erratic closer Fernando Rodney.

After Iwakuma departed, Rodney represented an opportunity. He issued a four-pitch walk to shortstop Alcides Escobar. He threw another ball to outfielder Nori Aoki. Then Aoki squared to bunt.

Asked afterward why the team didn't force Rodney to prove he could throw a strike before gifting him an out, Yost appeared comfortable with the play. The goal of the at-bat was for Aoki to advance the runner, not to reach base, he explained.

"I want Nori to get the bunt down," Yost said. "Because I want to take a shot at tying it. My 'pen was strong enough where I felt like I could go ahead and go for the tie. Some nights you don't. Some nights you play for the win."

But the lack of production earlier in the night altered his approach. He hoped the core of his lineup could deliver. "Once you get the bunt down, you've got your No. 2, 3, 4 guys coming up, your run producers, to take a shot at it," he said.

Except the group disappointed. After Hosmer accepted a walk, Rodney whiffed Butler with a changeup. In San Diego, Butler worried a three-game layoff would stunt his momentum. His fears came true on Friday: He went 0-for-4 with a double-play ball and two strikeouts.

"My timing was off," Butler said. "I didn't feel really well. I didn't see the ball worth a crap tonight."

When Salvador Perez tapped a grounder, the game was over. The power outage dashed a useful effort from Duffy (1-3, 1.96 ERA), the newest addition to the rotation. Duffy survived six innings and allowed just one run. That tally was decisive.

Duffy is not slated to start again until May 17. For now, Yost intends to shuffle him back into the bullpen. Bruce Chen is currently rehabilitating from a bulging disc in his lower back, and general manager Dayton Moore sounded pessimistic about Chen returning by then.

Even when Chen leaves the disabled list, it is unclear if he is a better option than Duffy, the erratic but capable 25-year-old lefty. In his last three starts, opposing offenses pounded 15 runs off Chen in 13 innings. During his two-start audition, Duffy allowed two runs in 10 frames.

"The first one, I was pretty erratic with my command," Duffy said. "But this one, I felt pretty good about."

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