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Danny Duffy leaves with left shoulder soreness after 1 pitch

The pitcher with the AL's third-lowest ERA may be out for the stretch run after Kansas City's Danny Duffy left Saturday's game after just one pitch.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals may be without one of their best young arms for the foreseeable future after left-handed pitcher Danny Duffy left Saturday afternoon's game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium after just one pitch. The Royals said the southpaw had left shoulder soreness.

Following a first pitch two-seam fastball down-and-in on Jacoby Ellsbury, the young pitcher -- who missed significant portions of the last two seasons following Tommy John surgery -- grimaced before walking to the back of the mound and signaling towards third baseman Mike Moustakas. Duffy had been terrific in 22 starts after beginning the season in the bullpen, and came into the game with a 2.42 ERA, the third-best in the AL behind Chris Sale and Felix Hernandez.

According to the Kansas City Star's Lee Judge, Duffy may have arrived in the Bronx with this issue, as "video of Duffy in warm-ups showed him shaking his arm after each throw." While there is no prognosis from the team, Duffy's teammate Billy Butler's actions -- "shaking his head and pointing to his shoulder", according to the Star's Andy McCullough -- suggest the injury may keep Duffy out during the most important time of the season.

With the Royals attempting to hold off the Tigers for the AL Central lead, losing their best pitcher would obviously do serious damage to their chances. Duffy was replaced by righthander Liam Hendriks, who would likely take his place in the rotation if necessary.