OAKLAND, Calif. — Graham Godfrey could only shake his head. Somehow, in consecutive at bats, a Kansas City batter hit an unhittable pitch. That was all the Royals would need.
Danny Duffy pitched six sharp innings and the Royals beat the Oakland Athletics 3-0 in a rain-shortened game Tuesday night.
Billy Butler led off the fourth inning with a double that just stayed fair down the left field line and Jeff Francoeur followed with a single ahead of Mike Moustakas' RBI double.
"That pitch to Butler, I don't know how he got to it, and to keep it fair, well, he's a good hitter," Godfrey said. "Francoeur's hit, I don't think there is another human being that could hit that pitch."
Francoeur scored on Humberto Quintero's sacrifice fly and Mitch Maier added a solo homer in the seventh for Kansas City, which lost 1-0 at Oakland on Monday night.
The start of the game was delayed 43 minutes by rain, and a steady drizzle continued throughout the night.
A second delay was called after Eric Hosmer struck out in the top of the eighth during a downpour. The bat slipped out of Hosmer's hands and landed just above the steps in the Royals dugout, prompting umpires to call for the tarp. The game was officially called at 11:07 p.m. local time.
Duffy (1-0) allowed one hit, struck out eight and walked four in his first game of the season. Three of the left-hander's five career wins have come in Oakland, and he had little problem keeping that streak going despite the wet conditions.
Cliff Pennington doubled with one out in the third for Oakland's only hit, and he was picked off. Duffy pitched with runners on base in two other innings and got out of trouble each time with some help from Kansas City's defense.
Collin Cowgill, who had walked with one out in the second, was halfway to third base when Lorenzo Cain hauled in Daric Barton's drive to the center field fence. Cowgill was easily doubled up on the play.
"That was a terrific play on Barton's hit," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "I was calling for Cowgill to go. I didn't think there was any way he would get to that ball. It ended up being a big play. Instead of a run in and a runner in scoring position, the inning ended. I thought that swung the momentum their way."
Both teams were pressing to get the game in regardless of the weather, since this is Kansas City's lone trip to Northern California.
Even when he had control problems in the fifth, walking a pair of batters, Duffy worked out of trouble by striking out Pennington to end the threat.
Duffy earned his first major league victory here last June 4 when he held the A's to two runs over six innings, then won in Oakland again on Sept. 6.
Godfrey (0-1) allowed six hits in six innings.
NOTES: Cain left the game with a strained left groin following his double play in the second. ... A's RHP Joey Devine will miss the season after undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery for the second time in three years. Devine was already on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis. ... Melvin plans to rest LF Coco Crisp on Wednesday. ... LHP Bruce Chen makes his second start of the season for the Royals on Wednesday after pitching six shutout innings against the Angels on opening day. ... RHP Brandon McCarthy (0-1) pitches the series finale for the A's, his third start in Oakland's first seven games. ... The A's played their first shortened game since May 4, 2005, against the Texas Rangers. ... The A's were shut out by the Royals for the first time since Aug. 7, 1996, a span of 147 games.