Yordano Ventura certainly lived up to his nickname of ‘Ace’ for the Royals tonight, stifling the Minnesota Twins offense in Kansas City’s 6-3 victory.
The game did not start off well for Ventura. Danny Santana, who has been a thorn in the Royals side all series, hit a hanging curve just over the leaping Lorenzo Cain for a leadoff home run, giving the Twins a quick 1-0 lead.
Minnesota extended that lead in the third, courtesy of Mike Moustakas. With one out and a runner on first, Eduardo Nunez hit a slow roller to third that Moustakas fielded and attempted to being a double play. His throw hit off the tip of Omar Infante‘s glove, putting runners on the corners. On the very next pitch, Moustakas had a chance to make up for his error, as Trevor Plouffe hit a ground ball to third. This time, attempting to cut the runner down at home, Moustakas threw high again, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead and keeping runners at the corners. Yordano Ventura stopped the bleeding, striking out the final two batters of the inning to keep the Royals close.
The Twins had another chance to add to the lead in the top of the fourth, loading the bases with one out. This time, Ventura once again managed to escape, getting Santana to foul out before ending the threat by striking out Nunez.
The Royals bats came to life against Twins starter Kevin Correia in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Raul Ibanez doubled down the right field line. Moustakas followed with a drive to right center, plating Ibanez with a double of his own. After a line out, Jarrod Dyson hit a hard line drive that skipped in front of Eduardo Escobar, getting past him for an error and plating Moustakas with the tying run.
Kansas City took control in the seventh. After reliever Caleb Thielbar allowed a base hit and a walk while recording one out, the Twins turned to Ryan Pressly to get out of the jam. On the first pitch he threw, Alcides Escobar roped a triple down the left field line, giving the Royals a 4-2 lead. Dyson followed with a line drive up the middle for a base hit, and created a run on his own, stealing second and third before scoring on a wild throw to give the Royals a 6-2 lead.
The Twins got a run back in the top of the eighth. Aaron Crow came on in relief of Ventura, and allowed two of the three batters he faced to reach. In came Wade Davis, who gave up his first extra base hit of the season, an RBI double to Kurt Suzuki, to cut the lead to 6-3. After a strikeout, Santana walked to load the bases. However, Davis continued to be a lethal weapon in the bullpen, striking out Nunez to end the threat.
Greg Holland pitched a perfect ninth to preserve the 6-3 victory for the Royals. Yordano Ventura earned the win, giving up two runs, one earned, on five hits and three walks, striking out seven in his seven innings of work.
Lorenzo Cain was 2-4 with a stolen base and a run scored in the victory.