May 12, 2016

Ned Yost figured Danny Duffy could better serve the Kansas City Royals out of the bullpen late last season, and he's mostly shined in that role ever since.

With two starters now on the disabled list, Duffy is getting another chance in the rotation.

The left-hander looks to help the struggling Royals win their first series in three weeks when he faces the visiting Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

Duffy (0-0, 3.00 ERA) went 7-8 with a 4.35 ERA in 24 starts last season. Yost shifted him to the bullpen, where he had a 2.51 ERA in 12 combined appearances in the regular season and playoffs as the Royals (17-19) won the World Series.

Duffy has allowed one run in his last 10 appearances and has a 3.00 ERA this season. But with Chris Young and Kris Medlen going on the DL, Yost decided to give Duffy another shot to start. It will be his first appearance against Atlanta (9-26).

Yost is expected to use multiple pitchers Sunday with Duffy not being stretched out to start after coming out of the bullpen for so long. He hasn't thrown more than 1 2/3 innings in any appearance this season.

"We like the fact that, even though we have to build him back up, there's power there," Yost said.

Duffy isn't planning on a long outing.

"I'll just give them the best 40-50 pitches I can," Duffy told MLB's official website. "I'll try to be efficient, trying to make it feel like I'm pitching out of the bullpen."

Kansas City needs something to change. It's lost 13 of 18 and hasn't won back-to-back games since April 21-22.

The Royals beat the Braves on Friday before falling 5-0 on Saturday, getting shut out for the first time since May 2.

''We missed a couple of opportunities early,'' Yost said.

The Braves are seeking their first series win since a three-game sweep of Miami from April 15-17. Their five runs Saturday tied their most since scoring eight in a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 19.

Mallex Smith had three hits including a triple to lead off the ninth Saturday, making Atlanta the last team with a three-base hit this season. Mike Foltynewicz pitched eight innings for the Braves, whose starters have a 2.89 ERA over the last 13.

They'll send Matt Wisler to the mound in this one as he seeks a third straight solid outing. Wisler (1-3, 3.27) has put together back-to-back eight-inning starts, giving up one hit over his final seven to beat the New York Mets 3-0 on May 3 before losing 3-2 to Philadelphia on Tuesday.

The right-hander has received seven runs of support over his last five starts from baseball's lowest-scoring team.

''I control what I can control,'' Wisler said. ''I'm going to go out there every fifth day and give this team everything I've got. These guys are playing as hard as they can every day. It's going to come around here pretty soon.''

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