Yordano Ventura has quickly gained a reputation around baseball as one of the best young pitchers in the major leagues. He certainly continued to impress this afternoon in the Royals 4-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
Ventura worked through some two out trouble in the top of the first, as Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis both singled. Ventura, keeping the ball down in the strikezone, got Carlos Santana to ground out to first to end the inning. Meanwhile, Indians starter Trevor Bauer was also setting down the Royals with ease through the first two innings.
That changed in the third. Mike Moustakas led off the inning with a double to deep right, and moved to third on a base hit by Alcides Escobar. Escobar moved up to second on the throw in, giving the Royals the first real threat of the game. Jarrod Dyson hit a sacrifice fly to center (you will notice a theme as the recap progresses), plating Moustakas for the first run of the game. After a base hit put runners at the corners, Omar Infante popped up to short. Normally, this would just be the second out of the game, but Escobar was head’s up on the bases. Shortstop Mike Aviles fell over catching the popup, and Escobar tagged up, scoring as the relay from Bauer sailed high.
Escobar factored into the scoring again in the fourth. With one out, Salvador Perez doubled to right, and moved to third on Moustakas’s single. Escobar hit the Royals third sacrifice fly on the day, this time to left, plating Perez as the Royals took a 3-0 lead.
Cleveland finally got to Ventura in the top of the sixth. Michael Bourn dropped down a bunt for a base hit, and moved to second on Lonnie Chisenhall‘s single. Ventura got two quick outs, but Santana singled on the first pitch of the at bat, plating Bourn to put the Indians on the board.
The Royals got that run back in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Infante and Eric Hosmer singled, bringing up Billy Butler. Keeping with the theme, Butler hit a sacrifice fly to center, plating Infante to give the Royals a 4-1 lead. Greg Holland slammed the door shut in the top of the ninth, preserving the victory for the Royals.
Yordano Ventura earned the win, allowing only the one run on six hits, striking out three. Ventura did not walk a batter, as he earned consecutive victories for the first time in his career.
Escobar was 3-3 with a run scored and an RBI.