Left-hander Danny Duffy is finding a lot of fun and excitement as he helps the Royals chase their postseason dreams.
On Sunday night, that will include pitching before a sellout crowd at Kauffman Stadium against the Indians. The game was switched from an afternoon game to an ESPN national telecast.
Cleveland will be going for the sweep of Kansas City after pulling to within 3 1/2 games of the division lead Saturday night. The Royals dropped into a tie for first with the Tigers.
In Duffy's last start, he pitched into the seventh inning and held the Twins to one run. The Royals won, 2-1, on Alex Gordon's two-run walk-off homer in the ninth.
"It's fun, it's a challenge. I just go out there and try to put up a zero. That's all you can do," Duffy said.
So far, he's done that very well. Although his record is 8-11, his 2.47 ERA ranks third in the American League, behind only Chris Sale and Felix Hernandez.
Duffy has been impressed with the Royals' ability to focus game by game this season, shaking off losses and downplaying scoreboard watching.
"As long as we just take care of what we know we can do and not worry about the rest of it, we'll be fine," he said. "We're not paying too much attention [to the other contenders] and when something happens that doesn't go our way, we go out the next day and have some fun and keep it simple and do what we can to win."
Another left-hander, Cleveland's T.J. House, will be opposing Duffy. He's coming off a start against the White Sox in which he gave up five runs in 4 2/3 innings, snapping his streak of eight starts with three runs or fewer allowed.
House didn't factor into the decision in his last start.
"We know exactly where we are," House said afterward. "And we know that we have to turn it on at this moment in time if we expect to catch anyone, whether it's the Wild Card or division. But, I don't think we're pushing or forcing anything."
Indians: Walters hopes to become more complete player
Zach Walters is slugging at an impressive clip over his first 17 games with the Tribe, but he's not satisfied.
"I'm pretty cold right now," said Walters, who disagreed with the assessment that he's just a power hitter. "No, actually, I think I'm just a good hitter, believe it or not, but I don't say that because of my stats, obviously."
Walters' batting average (.175) and on-base percentage (.224) in 67 plate appearances with Cleveland jibe with his proclamation of the current cold streak. However, of Walters' 11 hits with the Tribe, seven have been for extra-base hits, including six home runs.
"If I can drive in runs while I'm not feeling really well, that's fine with me," said Walters, who went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts Saturday.
Royals: Callups coming just around the corner
The Royals might be making some announcements on their September callups on Sunday.
They already know that pitchers Aaron Crow and Liam Hendriks and infielder Christian Colon will be returning on Tuesday from Northwest Arkansas. They were sent to the Double-A club earlier this week to accommodate roster additions.
Reliever Louis Coleman has already arrived from Triple-A Omaha. First baseman Eric Hosmer started his rehab assignment there on Saturday, but needs three or four more games.
Some of the moves could be affected by whether Omaha wins the division to enter the Pacific Coast League playoffs.
The Indians are going for their first sweep of the Royals since July 12-14, 2013.
Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.