KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A few seconds after the looping single hit the outfield grass, Danny Duffy let his emotions show.
He flung both hands in the air in frustration just off the pitcher's mound, and when manager Ned Yost emerged from the dugout a few moments later, the Royals starting pitcher screamed out a profanity loud enough that it could be heard clearly in Kauffman Stadium's upper deck.
The sixth-inning scene was one snapshot of an irritating afternoon for Duffy, who had a run of strong starts snapped in an 8-4 loss to Detroit on getaway day.
"Just slightly missed location, getting me a little bit," Duffy said, talking about the source of his on-field anger. "Obviously, the bloops are going to take care of themselves. But I saw Lorenzo Cain do that a million times when he was with us. I can't be upset with that. They did a good job of putting the bat out there, and it was able to fall."
The Tigers' offense, on paper, didn't appear to be overwhelming. Catcher John Hicks was put into the cleanup spot, while Ronny Rodriguez — with 68 major-league appearances to his name — batted sixth in a lineup that featured other lesser-known names such as JaCoby Jones, Niko Goodrum and Victor Reyes.
Duffy struggled nonetheless. He allowed seven earned runs — his most since May 13 — with a blend of unfortunate luck mixing with a few bad pitches in his 5 2/3 innings.
The Statcast numbers showed there was reason for Duffy to believe things weren't going his way Wednesday. Among the Tigers' nine hits against him, four were struck at 80 mph or less, with one 64 mph flare turning into a Hicks second-inning double.
"They were just put right where we weren't," Duffy said. "It wasn't alignment. It wasn't anything. It just wasn't in the cards for us today."
Duffy didn't do himself any favors, though, in the highest-leverage situation. With two on and one out in the fourth, he attempted to get ahead of light-hitting Jose Iglesias with a first-pitch fastball aimed at the outside corner.
Instead, the pitch came inside on Iglesias' hands, and the shortstop was ready. The three-run shot into the Tigers' bullpen in left — Iglesias' fourth home run in 363 at-bats — made it 5-1.
"I missed it right where he was looking for it," Duffy said. "You've just got to tip your cap in that situation, as much as it sucks to. I've seen like seven balls go into that bullpen for three-run homers or grand slams this year.
"When the going gets tough, you've really got to lock it in, and I wasn't able to unfortunately."
Duffy was animated shortly after that. Two batters later, following a flyout to end the inning, Duffy aired out his displeasure by yelling at himself while walking toward the dugout.
"I don't feel like I let my emotions get the best of me. I don't feel like I got away from my routine or myself," Duffy said. "I just didn't throw the ball very well today. We'll put this behind us and get ready for the next one."
Duffy's final line ended up similar to a previous one against Detroit this season; on April 23, he allowed six runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings as part of a 12-4 Royals loss.
Coming into the game, Duffy had been one of the hottest starters in the majors. He'd allowed just one earned run in his previous 20 innings, and in his last 11 starts combined, his 2.58 ERA was fourth-best in the American League behind All-Stars Blake Snell, Chris Sale and Trevor Bauer.
"It's just one of those days where he just wasn't quite as sharp as he has been," Yost said of Duffy.
One other big potential story line from Wednesday: It might have been the last home game at Kauffman Stadium for Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, who could be traded before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. Moustakas went 2-for-5, hitting an opposite-field single in the first before adding an RBI double down the left-field line in the fifth.
Yost bristled afterward when asked about it potentially being Moustakas' home finale.
"Dayton (Moore) has made it clear we're not giving Moose away," Yost said. "If anybody thinks that we're giving Moose away or it's his last game, you're going to have to come with something if you want Moose playing on your team. Because he's a big part of our team."
The Royals, who dropped to 31-70, won four of their six games on the homestand. They begin a four-game road series against the New York Yankees on Thursday.