ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Danny Duffy couldn't get the no-hitter, but he still came away with a team record.
The left-hander pitched eight innings of one-hit ball and had a franchise-record 16 strikeouts to lead the Kansas City Royals to a 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night.
Duffy (7-1) flirted with the Royals' first no-hitter in nearly 25 years before giving up a line-drive double to Desmond Jennings leading off the Tampa Bay eighth.
"There's been a number of occasions when Danny's stepped on the mound and I said this might be the night," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "But when he got through the seventh I thought this MAY be the night."
Bret Saberhagen pitched the Royals' last no-hitter on Aug. 26, 1991, and Zack Greinke owned Kansas City's strikeout record of 15 until Monday night.
"It's an honor to have a game like those guys had," Duffy said, "but I understand they had a lot more of those than I did. So I'm really still trying to do as good as I did tonight down the road."
Jennings came off the disabled list Monday after missing all of July with a strained hamstring.
"It was hittable, a good pitch to hit," Jennings said of the fastball he hit into the left-field corner. "It wasn't looking too good for a little while."
Kendrys Morales' 18th home run, a towering shot over the center field wall off Rays starter Chris Archer (5-15), got the Royals on the scoreboard in the seventh. They added two more runs on three hits in the eighth.
Kelvin Herrera pitched the ninth for his second save.
Duffy, a 27-year-old left-hander who spent the first six weeks of the season in the bullpen, walked one. He struck out seven in his first trip through the Rays' lineup, and did not allow a baserunner until walking Logan Forsythe to lead off the fourth.
"My fastball was jumping out of my hand, my changeup felt really good and my changeup was there," he said. "It was one of the few-and-far-between times that somebody has all of their pitches working the way they want."
Archer gave up three runs on six hits in 7 1/3 innings, striking out six to raise his AL-leading total to 161. Tampa Bay snapped a four-game win streak.
RAYS AT THE TRADE DEADLINE
The last-place Rays traded LHP Matt Moore, OF Brandon Guyer and INF/OF Steve Pearce — all to teams that were in first place — on Monday. "We wish we were in that position," manager Kevin Cash said. "Wish we didn't have to do that but we've got to do what's right for the organization today and moving forward."
ROYALS AT THE TRADE DEADLINE
The World Series champions, coming off their worst month (7-19) in four years, did nothing at the deadline. "It's good that we kept the group together. Everybody's happy about that," Yost said. "(General manager) Dayton (Moore) looked at some things, but at the end of the day there wasn't anything that's going to make us better. He wanted to stick with this group. He believes in this group."
Royals: RHP Wade Davis rejoined the team to rehab his flexor strain. Davis and the Royals are hopeful he will be able to come off the disabled list when he becomes eligible Aug. 12.
Rays: RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) threw another bullpen session and will get another rehab start Thursday.
Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura will follow his first career complete game, a 3-2 loss at Texas on Thursday, in his 21st start of the season Tuesday night. He has lost five straight decisions.
Rays: RHP Matt Andriese, back in the rotation with the trade of Matt Moore, will make his first start since June 10.