Royals’ Duffy ready to build pitch count in third start of 2016

Danny Duffy and Miguel Gonzalez will face off against each other for the second time in the last week on Friday night.

Danny Duffy figures to have more pitches in him this time when he faces the Chicago White Sox.

He’ll make his third start since moving into the rotation as the Kansas City Royals open a rain-shortened three-game home series against the White Sox on Friday night after Thursday’s scheduled opener was postponed.

Due to injuries to Chris Young and Kris Medlen, Duffy (0-0, 2.13 ERA) is a starter once more. He was limited to 48 pitches in a three-inning stint in a 4-2, 13-inning win over Atlanta on May 15.

The left-hander threw 63 pitches and lasted 4 1/3 scoreless innings in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Chicago. It’s not clear what his pitch count will be at Friday.

"I try to be available when my team calls upon me to do something," Duffy said. "That’s what’s happened the past two outings." 

Austin Jackson is 8 for 25 with a homer off Duffy, and Jose Abreu is 7 for 19 with one homer. 

Duffy will once again be opposed by right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (0-1, 4.57), who gave up two runs over six innings with eight strikeouts Saturday to drop to 0-4 with a 6.00 ERA in his last four outings versus Kansas City. 

Salvador Perez is 5 for 14 off Gonzalez, but Kendrys Morales and Eric Hosmer each have gone 1 for 13. 

Morales is expected back in the Kansas City lineup after he rested in Wednesday’s 7-5 loss at Minnesota. Alcides Escobar had three hits and Hosmer had a two-run double in the finale of a 4-2 trip. 

Third baseman Mike Moustakas will likely miss the rest of the season, as the Royals placed him on the 15-day disabled list with a torn right ACL. He and left fielder Alex Gordon collided Sunday while chasing a fly ball in Chicago. Gordon went on the disabled list Monday with a right wrist fracture.

Moustakas, a 2015 All-Star, was hitting .240 with seven home runs and 13 RBIs in 27 games. It is Moustakas’ second trip to the disabled list in May after missing three weeks with a broken left thumb.

Cheslor Cuthbert started the last two games at third base in Moustakas’ place.

Perez is hitting .432 in an 11-game streak after he went 9 for 12 in the series against the Twins. Lorenzo Cain was 0 for 3 on Wednesday, ending a six-game run in which he was 12 for 26.

Chicago has dropped three straight and 11 of 15 after capping a 3-7 homestand with Wednesday’s 4-3 defeat to Cleveland. The White Sox are 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position in this three-game slide. 

One positive sign Wednesday was Abreu’s second straight three-hit effort. The slugger was in a 2-for-20 slump in his five games prior to that and sat out Sunday’s 3-2 victory over the Royals. 

The White Sox hit .215 and went 1 for 23 with runners in scoring position in losing two of three to the Royals last weekend. They dropped six of nine at Kansas City last year.