Royals try to lend Chen some support against Athletics

Bruce Chen hopes for a little run support this evening when the Kansas City Royals conclude a three-game series with the Oakland Athletics at the Coliseum.

Chen scattered three hits over six scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Friday, but did not get a decision in his team's 5-0 loss. He also struck out four without walking anyone.

"Oh, wow, man, Bruce really pitched a heck of a game," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I was proud of Bruce to come out and give us six strong innings like he did."

Chen is 2-3 lifetime against the A's with a 4.61 ERA in 11 games, seven of which have been starts.

Oakland, meanwhile, will turn to righty Brandon McCarthy, who will be making his third start of the season, but is still looking for his first win. After a terrific Opening Day start in Japan, McCarthy was less impressive against Seattle on Friday, as he was charged with the loss and allowed five runs (two earned) and seven hits in five innings to raise his ERA to 2.25 on the year.

"It was bad, about as bad as it's been in a long time," McCarthy said. "Just very little feel, kind of the complete opposite of how I felt in Tokyo. I felt very sharp there, could execute mostly everything I wanted to do. Tonight, [it] just wasn't the case. For some reason, I just lost all feel for anything I was trying to do. The first two innings felt sharp. Things just kind of sped up in the third, and I couldn't really get it back."

McCarthy has faced the Royals 10 times (two starts) and is 1-1 with a 5.48 ERA.

On Tuesday, Danny Duffy pitched six innings of one-hit ball in a steady rain, helping Kansas City to a 3-0 win.

A delay of 40-plus minutes preceded the start of the game, and the rain continued to fall throughout the night. The game was called with two outs in the top of the eighth inning when the conditions seemed to worsen a bit.

Duffy (1-0), a California native, walked four and struck out eight.

The rain didn't dampen Duffy's spirits.

"I had a great time out there. I couldn't help but smile a couple times. [It was] a lot of fun," said Duffy, who had family and friends in attendance.

Aaron Crow tossed a 1-2-3 seventh and picked up his first career save.

Billy Butler and Jeff Francoeur each had two hits and scored a run for the Royals, who were shut out 1-0 in Monday's series-opener.

Graham Godfrey (0-1) allowed two runs on six hits in six frames for the A's.

"I thought [Godfrey] did fine," said Oakland manager Bob Melvin. "We just couldn't get it going offensively."

Oakland was 5-4 versus the Royals last season.