ST. LOUIS (AP) — Danny Duffy became the latest pitcher to shut down the St. Louis Cardinals.
Duffy worked six innings of one-hit ball coming off a pair of poor outings and Alex Gordon homered to start a breakout three-run seventh for the Kansas City Royals in a 6-0 victory over the suddenly punchless defending NL champs on Monday night.
"I told him, 'You didn't throw a great game, you pitched a great game,'" manager Ned Yost said. "He was just right on top of his game."
The Royals had just two singles off Shelby Miller (6-5) in a game that had been scoreless before they opened the seventh with four straight hits. Gordon's fifth homer ended a 15-inning scoreless drought and Mike Moustakas capped the rally with a two-run double.
"I felt good early on," Miller said. "I felt like I just kind of gave the game away in the seventh. It's just frustrating."
Matt Holliday had two singles and a walk for the Cardinals, who have been shut out in consecutive games at home and have single-digit hit totals the last four games. They're just 2-6 with one game to go on a nine-game home stand.
"It's a long season. You're going to have those times," said Yadier Molina, who is 2 for 21 during the home stand. "We know we're good hitters."
Between Holliday's single with two outs in the first and his single leading off the seventh, the Cardinals were 0 for 17 with a walk — also by Holliday in the fourth.
Coming off an 8-0 loss to San Francisco on Sunday, the Cardinals were shut out two straight times at home for the first time since 1992 against Pittsburgh, and by six or more runs at home in two straight games since dropping a doubleheader to the Reds in 1937.
"We've had lots of meetings, we've had the conversations we needed to have," manager Mike Matheny said. "What we're doing right now isn't going to work and they know that. We all do."
Duffy (3-5) struck out five and walked one, rebounding from consecutive losses in which he surrendered 10 earned runs in 10 innings. He has a one-hit start over six or more innings each of the last three seasons.
"Physically, I felt really good," Duffy said. "I still didn't have as much behind the ball as I normally do, but I felt fine just like last time."