KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Andrew Benintendi drove in the go-ahead run with two outs in the eighth inning, spoiling a masterful start by the Brewers' Brandon Woodruff and propelling the Kansas City Royals to a 2-0 victory over Milwaukee on Tuesday night.
Royals starter Kris Bubic, who had been working in long relief but got a spot start when Danny Duffy headed to the injured list, threw six innings of one-hit ball.
Woodruff (2-2) allowed just four hits before walking Whit Merrifield and plunking Carlos Santana with two outs in the eighth. Brewers manager Craig Counsell brought in reliever Devin Williams to face Benintendi, who lined a single to right field that gave Merrifield just enough time to slide under Omar Narvaez's tag at the plate.
Narvaez immediately signaled for Counsell to challenge the safe call but it stood upon review. The Royals then tacked on a run when Salvador Perez hit a grounder to shortstop and Luis Urias threw wide of first base for an error.
As if that didn't make the ninth inning bad enough for the Brewers, Avisail Garcia was tossed for arguing balls and strikes by plate umpire Brian Gorman with a 2-2 count and two outs. Counsell also was thrown out for defending his hitter, leaving Daniel Vogelbach to swing wildly at Josh Staumont's pitch for the game-ending third strike.
Jake Brentz (1-0) got just one out in the eighth but still earned his first career win. Staumont picked up his fourth save.
Most of the game amounted to a pitch-for-pitch duel between Woodruff and Bubic.
Woodruff's only hiccups before the fateful eighth inning came in the second, when he gave up a couple two-out singles, and the fifth, when the Royals gave up a couple outs on the base paths. Woodruff otherwise cruised right along, keeping impatient Kansas City hitters baffled by his fastball and sinker.
Bubic struck out four and walked two.
Both starters were helped by a stiff breeze out of right field and thick, soupy air that kept a couple of potential homers in the park. The spring weather also produced a popup shower in the second inning that led to a 21-minute delay.
Brewers OF Christian Yelich played for just the second time in five weeks because of stiffness in his lower back that first showed up April 11 in St. Louis. He tried to return May 3 in Philadelphia but played just one game before returning to the injured list. He wound up going 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.
Yelich served as the DH after playing in the outfield during a three-game rehab assignment at Triple-A Nashville.
“It’s just one of those things. I had to get better," he said.
Duffy was placed on the IL with a flexor strain in his left forearm. The move, which was retroactive to Friday, came after the left-hander had trouble getting loose following his start last Wednesday in Detroit.
“Honestly, I was really thankful for the news it wasn’t something worse,” said Duffy, who is seventh in the majors among qualified starters with a 1.94 ERA in seven starts. “I’ll just sit for about five days and then re-asses.”
Brewers: RHP Eric Yardley (shoulder strain) was sent to Nashville to begin a rehab assignment. ... RHP Bobby Wahl (right oblique strain) was transferred from Double-A Biloxi to Nashville to continue his rehab. ... OF Derek Fisher (left hamstring strain) returned from his rehab assignment but remains on the IL.
Royals: RHP Kyle Zimmer (left trapezius strain) was activated after two rehab starts at Triple-A Omaha. He is 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA over 13 1/3 innings. ... SS Adalberto Mondesi (right oblique strain) moved from Double-A Northwest Arkansas to Omaha as he continues to rehab. He went on the IL the day before the season began.
Brewers RHP Corbin Burnes (2-3, 1.57) returns to the mound Wednesday night after his record streak of 58 strikeouts without a walk — which ended against St. Louis last week — was broken by the Yankees' Gerrit Cole on Monday night. RHP Brad Keller (3-4, 6.75) faces him for Kansas City.
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