Royals lefty Danny Duffy kept fans, TV viewers and radio listeners on the edge of their seats last Saturday as he pitched 6 2/3 innings of perfect baseball.
Unfortunately for Duffy and the Royals, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones broke up the perfect game with a single up the middle, but Duffy did get the win -- his first as a starter in 2014 -- in the Royals' 1-0 win.
Duffy is hoping that success translates into another successful start, this time against the Angels on Friday night at Angel Stadium.
"They're a pretty good team," Duffy said. "The Orioles were hitting the ball pretty well, too, so I know what I have in the tank, and I'm going to try to execute to the best of my ability. I'll just be trying to do what I've been doing -- pounding the zone, keeping the ball down."
Duffy's gem came just a couple of weeks after manager Ned Yost moved the 25-year-old left-hander from the bullpen to the rotation. Duffy had a 2.16 ERA out of the bullpen, but Yost put him in the rotation while starter Bruce Chen coped with a sore back.
But Duffy is making his case to stay in the order once Chen returns. In three starts, Duffy is 1-2 but has a 1.06 ERA.
If anything, his shot at perfection during the weekend, while incomplete, may help him pitch even better.
"The other day was big for me, confidence-wise," Duffy said. "Personally, it was very gratifying, but we've got a long season to go, 4 1/2 months to fight to get into October."
But whether he's starting the game or coming out of the bullpen, it's all the same to Duffy.
"It's all baseball," he said. "I learned a lot out in the bullpen, I had a great time out there. So wherever the team decides to put me, whatever happens, I'm ready to go."
Angels: Relievers getting close
Relievers Dane De La Rosa (right s/c joint irritation) and Sean Burnett (elbow surgery) each tossed scoreless rehab outings on Wednesday.
Burnett came in with two runners on and one out in the sixth inning for Double-A Arkansas. Burnett got a strikeout and a flyout, giving him five consecutive scoreless outings.
In Triple-A Salt Lake, De La Rosa picked up a save, giving up a hit and striking out one batter in the ninth inning. It was De La Rosa's first outing since he felt soreness on May 10 and received a cortisone shot to reduce inflammation.
The Angels currently have 11 pitchers on their roster, but they could go to 12 when Burnett or De La Rosa return.
Royals: Two regulars close to returning
Second baseman Omar Infante and catcher Salvador Perez may return to the Royals' lineup against the Angels.
Infante has been on the disabled list since May 7 because of a sore back, but Yost said he has been feeling better recently.
"Swinging, he's been fine," Yost said. "Where it's been bothering him the last couple of days has been bending over to catch ground balls. But he's made really good improvements there."
Perez hasn't gone on the disabled list but missed the last two games with a sore thumb. The catcher will probably sit Friday night because Yost does not want to risk him re-injuring his thumb against Angels starter C.J. Wilson's cutters.
Angels: Thursdays off
The Angels are off on Thursday for the seventh time out of eight Thursdays during the season.
"We're going to take them as they come because we've got some long stretches without one this year," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "But these first two months -- I don't know if I've seen so many days off. It seems like it's once a week. That's just the way it's stacked up. We'll take them as they come. It's a grueling season."
After their off-day, the Angels will go into their series with the Royals red-hot. They've won 10 of their last 13 games and each of their last four series. The last time they played each other, in 2013, the Angels swept a four-game series in Kansas City.
Wilson, who gets the start Friday, is also coming off his best start of the season. The 33-year-old left-hander tossed a complete-game shutout against the Rays on May 17, striking out seven batters while giving up five hits.
"It's my first shutout here with the Angels," said Wilson, in his third season in Anaheim. "It's what you work for between outings, lifting weights and studying scouting reports."
• The Royals were 2-5 against the Angels in 2013, but won two games in their three-game series in Anaheim.
• Angels first baseman Albert Pujols hit the 505th home run of his career Wednesday night against Astros pitcher Collin McHugh. The home run put Pujols ahead of Eddie Murray for 25th all-time.
• Howie Kendrick sports a seven-game hitting streak, going 9-for-27 (a .333 batting average) over that span. The Angels second baseman went 5-for-11 as the Angels took two of three from the Astros.
Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.